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Russia Releases Footage of Largest-Ever Nuclear Bomb Blast

The Russian nuclear agency, Rosatom, has released previously classified footage of the largest-ever hydrogen bomb blast. The hydrogen bomb, dubbed Tsar Bomba or “King of Bombs,” released the equivalent energy of 50 million tons of TNT. And the result of that kind of power, as the video shows, is a display of unimaginable destruction.

The New York Times reported on the video’s release. In the report, which comes via Futurism, the Times describes how the detonation took place during “the darkest days of the Cold War,” when the Americans and Russians were competing to see who could build the most powerful hydrogen bomb.

Russia ultimately won the competition with the detonation of Bomba above Severny Island on October 30, 1961. The resultant blast was roughly 3,333 times as destructive as the one produced by Little Boy, the nuclear bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima. (Compare Little Boy’s blast yield of 15,000 tons of TNT to Bomba’s 50 million for reference.)

Immediately above is the full 40-minute documentary surrounding Bomba’s detonation. The video shows handlers transporting the bomb by rail, as well as a peek at its insides. Despite the video’s disclosures, however, Alex Wallerstein, a nuclear historian, told the Times that the documentary “doesn’t divulge technical secrets.”

Russia has just released footage of the biggest nuclear bomb blast ever.

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While Rosatom has only recently released the complete documentary of Bomba’s blast—it was done so to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Russian nuclear industry—there is also a viral clip of it from 2006. That clip, however, is soundless, and the roar of this explosion helps to add another level of jaw-dropping fright to the sight of the mushroom cloud. The image of Bomba’s fireball, immediately above, is quite surreal as well.

What do you think about this documentary footage of Tsar Bomba’s detonation? Are you having trouble comprehending this kind of power like we are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Feature image: Росатом