Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Animated map of nuclear explosions, 1945-1998

Here is a fascinating map animation that shows every detonation of a nuclear bomb through 1998, by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto. The Map Scroll posted this last fall when Boing Boing called attention to it and The New Yorker commented:

The New Yorker:

It is the sort of set of pictures that makes you want to read—to learn more, for example, about how it came to be that France exploded more than a tenth of those bombs (two hundred and ten); China blew up forty-five. Not that anyone was taking cover in Provence: if you don’t watch the icons above and below the map, you might think that Algeria, and not France, was the world’s fourth nuclear-armed power (and that Australia, not Britain, was the third). The Gerboise Bleue explosion, of a seventy-kiloton device, took place in 1960, in the Sahara desert, in the midst of the Algerian war; several others followed. (Later, after Algeria gained its independence, France’s tests moved to French Polynesia; its last one was in 1996.)

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