On May 16, 1958 the United States tested the underwater detonation of a nuke that flung water more than a half-mile in distance in 20 seconds.
What happened: Operation Hardtack Ⅰ was a series of 35 nuclear tests carried out by the U.S. between April and August 1958, divided into three research focuses. The tests were conducted in order to better understand how materials and electronic systems might respond to nuclear blasts.
Codenamed “Wahoo,” the video below shows an explosion of a Mark 7 nuke placed 500 feet below the surface of the ocean, intended to examine the effects on three naval destroyers, a submarine, and a submarine mockup placed at various distances from the blast.
The damage to the ships are not seen on video — however, the only ship that sustained damage was placed 2,346 feet away from the blast.
The bomb demonstrated in the video was never used in battle, as it was outclassed by more powerful nuclear weapons, although it was meant to be carried and dropped by fighter jets against hostile forces.
Just a few years later, the development of the B53 bomb that was 1,000 times stronger than the Mark 7 began — the design would be finished in 1965. The B53 remains the eighth-strongest nuclear bomb ever made.
Photo: Clip from YouTube video
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