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What if you detonated a nuclear bomb in the Marianas Trench?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2018

In response to a dumb viral video with almost 20 million views that suggests detonating a powerful nuclear device at the bottom of the ocean would unleash global chaos, Kurzgesagt provides a counterpoint using, you know, science. This was also an early What If? query:

The bubble grows to about a kilometer across in a couple of seconds. The water above bulges up, though only slightly, over a large area. Then the pressure from that six miles of water overhead causes it to collapse. Within a dozen or so seconds, the bubble shrinks to a minimum size, then ‘bounces’ back, expanding outward again.

It goes through three or four cycles of this collapse and expansion before disintegrating into, in the words of the 1996 report, “a mass of turbulent warm water and explosion debris.” According to the report, as a result of such a deep-water closed bubble creation and dissipation, “no wave of any consequence will be generated.”