As part of a series of US nuclear weapon tests known as Operation Crossroads in 1946, a 23-kilotun nuke called Baker was blasted at about 90 feet underwater at Bikini Atoll and caused a tidal wave that reached over 2 miles high. The images that resulted from the test are breathtaking, both in the beautiful and terrifying sense. The vertical movement of such an immense body of water, shape-shifting from a dome to a mushroom cloud, is somewhat operatic. However, zooming in closer and seeing the naval ships being lifted by an unruly mass of nature like a few fragile toys is a frightening sight.
This particular explosion, the second and last detonation in Crossroads, was the first to ever be tested underwater and the result was extraordinarily devastating. So much so that the third blast, Charlie, scheduled to go off in 1947 was cancelled because naval ships were still having trouble decontaminating from Baker's test. Luckily, the area near the explosion, the island of Bikini, was evacuated before the massive burst. Many of the images were taken miles away. There's also a short video of Baker, which you can see below.
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