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What would happen if all nuclear warheads on Earth were to explode simultaneously?

There are 15,000 nuclear weapons on Earth as of 2019.

By kamika eleanorPublished about a year ago 3 min read
What would happen if all nuclear warheads on Earth were to explode simultaneously?
Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

Have you ever pondered what it would be like if humans decided to simultaneously detonate all of the nuclear weapons on Earth?

Naturally, you haven't. That would be the most insane thing the globe could ever do.

But, what would happen in the extremely unlikely instance all nukes went off at the same time?

If you needed confirmation that this would be a terrible idea, then we can only advise that you watch this highly disturbing video by Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell.

This colourful and completely gripping eight-minute video has already been viewed more than 27 million times on YouTube.

The explosive yield of a nuclear weapon is typically measured in kilotons, or thousand tons of TNT. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima is typically calculated at 16 kilotons, or 16,000 tons of TNT. The W-87 warhead carried by the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile has a yield of 300 kilotons. The B83 nuclear freefall bomb, carried by the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, has a yield of up to 1.2 megatons, or 1,200 kilotons.

If you haven't got eight minutes to spare allow us to briefly breakdown some of the harrowing key points that it highlights.

There are 15,000 nuclear weapons on Earth as of 2019.

One of the 4,500 cities on Earth would only need three nuclear warheads to be destroyed, totaling 13,500 bombs, leaving 1,500 unexploded.

The energy of 15,000 warheads is comparable to 3 billion tonnes of TNT and 15 times that of the Krakatoa volcano, which erupted with the greatest amount of force ever recorded.

Its explosion would produce a blaze that was 50 km across and a blast wave that would destroy anything within a 3,000 km radius.

The explosion would be heard around the world and the pressure wave would circulate around the world for the following weeks.

The mushroom cloud would reach the edges of the Earth's atmosphere and be near to space.

If it were detonated in South America's Amazon Rainforest it would create a fire that would burn down nearly the entire continent.

Radiation would kill everything within the blast radius and the surrounding for hundreds of kilometres is now uninhabitable.

The Amazon Rainforest is completely destroyed and the environment around the world is now highly radioactive but it would completely wipe out humanity.

Unfortunately, that isn't even the worst scenario that the video proposes. If humans were to mine every bit of uranium on the planet and create as many bombs as possible it would be catastrophic.

There is believed to be 35 million tones of uranium on Earth which is enough to create the equivalent of 10 billion Hiroshima bombs.

Once again, if it were detonated in the Amazon Rainforest, half of South America would be able to see the blast.

If would create a crater 100km across with debris being flung so far that some of it would end up in space.

The majority of large animals would perish, there would be widespread firestorms, and towns would be destroyed by earthquakes that were stronger than anything previously observed.

The world would be engulfed in an ash cloud that would prevent sunlight from reaching the surface, ushering in a global winter with persistently below-freezing temperatures.

Earth's entire biosphere would be extinct. The debris would even demolish the International Space Station. If you were underground or underwater, you could survive, but only for as long as your resources last.

It would take millions of years for any form of life to reemerge on the planet.

Yeah...that's all a bit much isn't it?

Let's just hope the likes of Trump, Kim or Putin watch this video and get the wrong ideas.



About the Creator

kamika eleanor

Writer focused on film, media, fandom, music, comic, and all things geeky. Here you'll find Breakdowns, Analysis, Easter Eggs of Movies and series. Every universe comes together at this place. So just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

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