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What does a nuclear bomb blast feel like?

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 30, 2018

In the 50s and 60s during tests of nuclear weapons in the South Pacific, thousands of British soldiers were deliberately exposed to the blasts “to prepare them for nuclear war”. Motherboard recently traveled to a reunion of atomic veterans to talk to them about their experiences. This is a powerful video — the men shared what the blasts felt like and how it affected the rest of their lives: medical problems, not being able to have children, etc.

I gasped when several of the men talked about how the blasts gave them temporary x-ray vision; the radiation from the nuclear reactions allowed them to see the bones of their hands and arms right through the skin. One recalled, “When the flash hit, you could see the x-rays of your hands through your closed eyes.” And another veteran said, “If I was looking at you now, I would see all your bones. You would see all the blood vessels and everything, the bones, the lot.” I’d never heard this before…what a marvelous and horrifying thing.