Does the video show an 800-foot underwater atomic explosion in 1958?

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An otherwise calm ocean scene disturbed by an erupting plume of whitewater stretching hundreds of feet in the air was captured in footage believed to have been taken in 1958 during atomic tests in the South Pacific.

A video containing these images was shared on Reddit in mid-October 2021 and had received over 82,000 upvotes and nearly 6 million views at the time of writing. But the video was originally shared on YouTube on July 17 by the verified self-described account, Atomic Tests Channel.

The video is genuine. According to a description that accompanied the footage, the explosion occurred on May 16, 1958 and had been dubbed “the Wahoo explosion”:

Within a second of the detonation, a spray dome was created which reached a height of 840 feet (260 m) after seven seconds. The general shape of the spray dome resembled a cone with sides tilted at 45 degrees. Plumes were seen crossing the spray dome after six seconds in all directions. The vertical plume continued to rise for up to 12 seconds after the explosion while the side plumes traveled for 20 seconds before collapsing.

The description added that the diameter of the spray reached 38,000 feet in 20 seconds and that the nuclear explosion was calculated to be the equivalent of 9 kilotons of TNT. The information accompanying the video was verified in an article published by Yahoo News on September 17.

“The point of detonation was the open ocean near Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. According to nuclear weapons records, the Wahoo missile exploded at a depth of 500 feet in 3,200 feet of water.” , we read in the article.

The explosion was carried out as part of the Mark 7 (Mk-7) program, which, according to the National Museum of the United States Airforce, was first produced in 1952 and was the first nuclear weapon that could be transported by Air Force and Navy fighter jets.

“Although it was carried outside by fighters (F-84, F-100 and F-101), it could also be carried inside by bombers such as the B-57. Due to the lack of ground clearance when suspended under a fighter, the Mk-7 had a lower fin which was stowed in the retracted position on the ground and which was extended once the carrier fighter was in the air. Capable of an aerial or terrestrial detonation, the Mk-7 had an output of the order of a kilotonne. It became obsolete in 1968 and is no longer in use, ”the museum wrote.

As such, we rate this claim as “true”.

Sources:

Atomic Test Channel – YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/atom3196/about. Accessed October 13, 2021.

“Mark 7 nuclear bomb”. National Museum of the United States Air Force â„¢, http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196744/mark-7-nuclear-bomb/. Accessed October 13, 2021.

Watch a small nuclear bomb launch a water tower over half a mile high. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/watch-tiny-nuke-throw-tower-140200084.html. Accessed October 13, 2021.

_Xyréo_. “150 meters of uncut footage from the 1958 Underwater Atomic Explosion.” R / Interestingasfuck, October 12, 2021, www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/q6m2sg/150_meter_uncut_footage_of_underwater_atomic/.


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