Photo via video screengrab
An art project by Isao Hashimoto does a phenomenal job of showing us where and when we started obliterating pieces of the planet with nuclear weapons. In a short video, Hashimoto shows every nuclear bomb explosion on the Earth from 1945 when the US tested nuclear weapons before dropping the infamous bombs on Japan, to 1998 as India and Pakistan began testing their own weapons. It brings a whole new perspective to the debate on the use of nuclear technology. The artist writes, "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."
We know what nuclear weapons can do to a city -- we've witnessed those terrifying results and will never forget them. But we often don't see or hear what happens to ecosystems that are the site for nuclear tests. The areas are altered for thousands of years in ways we likely don't fully comprehend. For instance, we just learned a short while ago that a very important water source for a desert oasis providing sustenance to many unique species in Nevada begins at a nuclear test site -- which means the pollution in that water (which takes a long time to travel underground to the oasis) will eventually hit the already troubled ecosystem in perhaps 15,000 years. That's a long legacy for a few nuclear bomb detonations.
As Gizmodo writes, "The pacing, mixed with an Atari-esque soundtrack is both distancing and hypnotic. As more and more countries gain nuclear technologies, the map becomes a terrifying game of Simon. By the end, it feels remarkable that we never encountered a game over...as of yet"; and as Discover states in a headline of an article on this video, "What the hell were we thinking?"
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