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SYFY WIRE nuclear war

Russia releases chilling vintage footage of biggest nuclear bomb ever detonated

By Jeff Spry
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Russia has recently revealed classified video of "Tsar Bomba," an earth-shattering 1961 thermonuclear explosive test whose intense heat was felt by the Russian people up to 170 miles off and its blinding flash witnessed by citizens living nearly 630 miles away.

Showcased as part of a just-released vintage documentary produced by Russia’s state atomic agency, the colossal detonation officially registers as the biggest atomic bomb ever set off on our planet, produced by a terrifying device that yielded an astonishing 50 megatons.

"Tsar Bomba" was activated only once by the former Soviet Union nearly sixty years ago as a demonstration of the super power's advanced nuclear and technological capabilities prior to the 1963 Nuclear Ban-Test Treaty signing which prohibited atmospheric nuclear explosions and abolished insane weapons of mass destruction such as this mighty nuke.

Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev had demanded the development of a monstrous 100-megaton nuclear weapon in the summer of 1961, but scientists were only able to create the notorious RDS-220 with half the devastating effects. Even this major compromise labeled it as the most powerful thermonuclear device ever manufactured, greatly surpassing America’s Pacific Ocean-set Castle Bravo test in 1954 which was merely a 15 megaton weapon.

The behemoth bomb was dropped in October of 1961 at Novaya Zemlya island just north of the Arctic Circle. This 27-ton, 26-foot-long atomic nightmare fell from the belly of a Tu-95 “Bear” bomber. A one-ton parachute released the bomb over the target area, and after the shocking airburst explosion erupted, the carrier bomber swiftly plummeted 3,000 feet before safely correcting itself. 


In the aftermath, a 210,000 foot tall mushroom cloud climbed into the frigid sky while below, the Arctic landscape was leveled and wiped clean. Goodbye "Tsar Bomba" and good riddance. We hope to never see the likes of your kind again.