Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

What would happen if your town got nuked?


June 28, 2009

The thermal effects of the 'Little Boy' nuclear bomb if it was dropped on New York City.

The thermal effects of the 'Little Boy' nuclear bomb if it was dropped on New York City.

Not that it's particularly likely, but as long as nuclear bombs exist, there's the chance - however slim - that one might go off somewhere near you. This little Google Maps overlay might be a bit morbid, but it's also pretty fascinating. It shows you the heat, pressure and fallout spread of a range of different nuclear bombs detonating anywhere in the world. It's particularly sobering to get a sense of the scale of the devastation caused by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs in World War 2 - and then see how tiny those bombs are compared to the USSR's enormous Tsar Bomba, the biggest nuke ever detonated.

The nuclear arms race might be over between the USA and USSR, but there are still something like 8,000 active nuclear warheads out there ready to unleash absolute hell if somebody pushes the red button.

India, Pakistan and North Korea have all declared nuclear stockpiles. Israel hasn't declared them but is widely believed to have more than 150 nukes secreted around the state. Iran and Syria have been accused of working towards nuclear weapons capability, and perhaps the most frightening possibility is that one of these staggeringly powerful weapons will fall into the hands of one of the many terrorist groups that would give anything to get their hands on one.

So keep that in mind as you see what a nuke would do to your own home town. To use the Ground Zero II system, just type in the name of your city and country, select a bomb from the slider at the bottom, and click "nuke it!"

The system doesn't take into account the effects of large buildings, weather patterns or geographical features. For the fallout map, it assumes a light breeze over about 6 hours.

From CarlosLabs.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain


Kelly Feltner
18th November, 2010 @ 04:36 pm PST

Bit out of date, now the Cold War has ended, but with a tweak here and there it could be altered to show fallout if a Nuclear Power plant near you goes Fukushima !

The fallout bit probably could be still relevant.

There once was an application called BombCAD that was used to gauge what would happen if London was bombed by the IRA.. there was a basic 3D model of all buildings in London with % of glass to walls etc..

People are more often killed by flying glass and other shrapnel that the explosion itself.

It was used to set up evacuation meeting points etc..

So people didn't evacuate offices and then get put in more danger from being in the path of flying glass..

Facebook User
4th April, 2011 @ 02:23 pm PDT

A small country gets their hands on one nuke what are they going to do with it? Drop it on New York, Tel Aviv and then what? They'll be sitting around thinking as the response comes form other countries. Maybe we should have gotten a couple hundred before we dropped just one. This stuff about coutnries getting nukes. means nothing. For one thing no small country would use one unless one is used on them. So it's just a deterrent and with Israel as your neighbor why wouldn't you want them just as a deterrent? By the way it's believed Israel has 400 or more and I would lean to the more side. So here that little country is nuke big time and nobody even knows if they really have them or how many, because they don't have to answer to anybody. Russia and the USA should take them from them, because they are essentially a rogue country.

Decent people need to rule the world and do away with them, because we got to figure a way to get rid of the nuke waste created by this nasty stuff.

Facebook User
4th November, 2011 @ 09:16 am PDT

1 kiloton is inaccurate... the rest of tool is likely inaccurate as well.The blast would only be 400 to 500 feet.

Scott Spencer
7th February, 2013 @ 08:34 am PST

Put my head between my legs and kiss my heiny goodbye !

9th April, 2013 @ 08:38 pm PDT

What would happen if the nuclear reactor in your area experienced a meltdown? In most parts of the country there would be several million people permanently displaced along with factories, stores, highways, and other infrastructure that would become worthless overnight. In the case of Yankee Island there would be more like 20 million casualties.

11th April, 2013 @ 05:08 pm PDT
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