Time Lapse Of All Nuclear Explosions Since 1945

There have been 2,055 nuclear explosions since the very first in 1945. Fortunately, depending on how you look at it, all but two of them have been detonated for testing rather than having been used for war. I came across a fascinating time lapse video of nuclear explosions since 1945, and I thought I would share it with you for your interest…

During the years some of the world’s nuclear arsenal has been dismantled. However, many, many thousands of nuclear warheads remain. Not only that, but more nations are working towards developing their own nuclear weapons today. And one could argue that as time goes on, it becomes more likely that these weapons might be used. There certainly has been plenty of saber-rattling of late…

It is something that we might think about and prepare for (to an extent possible). We cannot assume that we will always live in a world of conventional warfare with such a nuclear arsenal at the ready, and possibly in the hands of those who wish to do us harm – or those who are sociopath/psychopathic ‘rulers’.

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The following video was put together by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto. It illustrates a undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2,053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998. It begins with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos, and concludes with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon. There’s a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen.

Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing “the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.”

The time lapse of nuclear explosions starts slow. It picks up in 1958, then some real action starting 1962 or so. But the buildup becomes overwhelming. Watching the entire 14 minute clip really gives you a sense of the beginnings in fits and starts, and the advancements of the nuclear weapons age.

Isao Hashimoto: “This piece of work is a bird’s eye view of the history by scaling down a month length of time into one second. No letter is used for equal messaging to all viewers without language barrier. The blinking light, sound and the numbers on the world map show when, where and how many experiments each country have conducted. I created this work for the means of an interface to the people who are yet to know of the extremely grave, but present problem of the world.”

Time Lapse Of Nuclear Explosions

[ Read: Radiation Detector Choices ]

[ Read: The First Cities To Be Nuked? ]


  1. There’s never been a weapon of war developed that hasn’t been used, yet.
    Why develop it, if you don’t intend to use it ?
    It’s just a matter of when.
    As The Good Book says, ” It will come as a thief in the night. “

  2. Too bad the map doesn’t show a large concentration over the DC area.

  3. Interesting map. Nuclear is a fusion which came to early as it is a poison for us. Long in the future we would have been able to with stand the reactions. Evil at work and some humans tapped into the source not really knowing.
    Einstein “If only I had known, I should have become a watch maker.”

    1. Mrs. U,
      for to long we have been delving into sciences that we don’t fully understand. like two year olds playing with matches and explosives, we don’t understand the potential long term impact of our actions. we as people have come to far to fast in the last one hundred years to understand the consequences for our curiosity.
      to learn by doing doesn’t always have a good outcome. a child placing their hand on a hot stove will only do it one time, but by then the damage has already been done.
      the CERN Large Hadron Collider is a worry to me. a Pandora’s box.

      1. scout, almost forgotten about that collider thing, not really heard too much about it lately.

  4. Wow 1032 detonations by the U.S. just to watch something go boom. How much of this earth has been destroyed / unusable for centuries because of someone’s EGO.
    Thanks Ken this was quite enlightening.

  5. It’s a dark subject, but there is hope in the story of survival, I’ve read about the man who survived both Hiroshima and Nagasaki just by practicing duck and cover to avoid the initial blast. I’ve also read about the Australians who survived the Maralinga blasts by ducking down, they said they could see their bones through their hands covering their faces, but most of them lived to 60 before they died of cancer.

    It’s not the nuclear bombs that are the immediate threat, it’s the plants, Fukishima and Chernobyl spring to mind as places that will be safe only in 15 thousand years.

  6. Since we’ve recently been on the subject . . . Anyone with a macabre turn of mind might want to google nukemap. A quick explanation of the website can be found here . . . tiktok.com/@prestonstew/video/6978622899917802757

  7. I’d like to come back in a thousand years and read the history of now. Or would there be any history books?

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