Russia releases footage of the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated

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Mind-blowing video showing the most powerful nuclear weapon in history being detonated has been released by Russia.

The previously-classified 40-minute documentary was released by the country’s nuclear division ROSATOM last week, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Russia’s nuclear industry.

It shows the moment the infamous Tsar Bomba was dropped off the coast of Severny Island, near the Arctic Ocean, on October 30, 1961.

In the clip, a blinding light blocks out any visibility on the camera for a brief few moments before a gigantic mushroom cloud shoots up into the sky.

The cloud eventually soared 42 miles into the air – making it seven times higher than Mount Everest.

Another angle from a plane shows the ominous sight rising into the blue sky.

The sheer scale of the bomb’s power is almost difficult to comprehend. With 50 million tonnes of conventional explosives, it was 3,333 times more powerful than the bomb that wiped out Hiroshima in Japan at the end of World War 2.

More recently, the blast that ripped through Beirut was estimated by the University of Sheffield to have the strength of just 1,500 tonnes of explosives. That’s a 10th of Hiroshima’s.

The bomb itself weighed 27 tonnes and about eight metres in length. It was detonated roughly 4,000 metres above the ground and the reach of the explosion was mind-boggling.

Despite being 75 miles away, the Tu-95V Soviet bomber that dropped it was hit by the shockwave.

The blast itself was visible from 620 miles away. To put that into perspective, London and Edinburgh are just 402.3 miles apart.

The 40-minute documentary featured the opening caption “top secret”.

And while the bomb’s description was much fuller throughout the video than what the public would normally receive, nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein noticed it carefully avoided the secret technical details “despite appearing to show the innards”.

Thankfully, the Tsar Bomba was one of the last above-ground nuclear tests carried out in the world.

In 1963, the US, UK and the Soviet Union signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty which stated all future tests had to be carried out beneath ground.

  • World War 2
  • Russia
  • London

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