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This Map Visualizes Every Nuclear Detonation on Earth

The visualization counts 2153 detonations to date.

Emiko Jozuka

Emiko Jozuka

Screenshot: Orbital Mechanics

The nuclear bomb is a weapon of mass destruction that's infamous for decimating Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It has caused many a scientist to question their contributions to science, and it's just had its 70th anniversary.

Yet what most people might not know is that planet Earth has been a test bed for a staggering amount of nuclear detonations: 2153, according to a new video, visualizing every single nuclear bomb ever to be detonated from 1945 to the present day.

Created by Canada-based musicians Orbital Mechanics, and dubbed "Trinity"—after the first nuclear detonation test in New Mexico in 1945—this visualization includes the date, location, and strength of each nuclear detonation. According to their Vimeo page, red dots refer to atmospheric detonations, blue to underwater, and yellow to underground ones.

This current visualization recalls earlier efforts by Isao Hashimoto, a Japanese multimedia artist, who visualised every single nuclear detonation from 1945 to 1998.

Set to a eery music, Orbital Mechanics update serves provides us with a stark audiovisual reminder of humanity's continued obsession with nuclear explosives.