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.
During recent 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 a terrorist group or nation (rogue or otherwise) may choose to bring down the West by using obtained nuclear weapons in a strategic manner such as to bring down the financial system and instill terror in the minds of Americans and/or Europeans.
It is something that we should think about and prepare for. 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.
Of interest, the following video put together by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto illustrates a undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding 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, with 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.” It starts really slow — 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.”