In case you forgot how efficient nuclear bombs are at annihilating everything, these videos will scare you more than any clip since Indiana Jones jumped inside a refrigerator. Actually, that Indiana Jones clip is just scarily bad.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has released about 60 videos of its library of thousands of declassified nuclear test videos. The lab has spent five years preserving the films and their data that log the United States' 210 atmospheric nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1962. High-speed cameras documented terrifying displays of nuclear power from a variety of angles on about 10,000 different pieces of government-classified film. By and large -- with the exception of those you've already seen on old History Channel reruns -- the footage was locked in high-security vaults across the country until five years ago, when a nuclear weapons physicist named Greg Spriggs was tasked with their compilation and restoration them.
"We think there were about 10,000 films and we've located about 6,500 of them, and to date we've scanned a little over 4,200 of them," Spriggs says in a video from the LLNL. "We've analyzed maybe on the order of about 400 or 500 of those films."
According to the LLNL, "Not only were they gathering dust, the film material itself was slowly decomposing, bringing the data they contained to the brink of being lost forever." The hope is that this effort by Spriggs' team of film experts, archivists, and software developers can get ahead of that decay.