When we think of radioactive sites, we usually think of Chernobyl or Fukushima, or some other place in Russia with a lot of weird letters.
However, the most radioactive place on the planet is actually found far off in the pacific ocean, approximately 2,400 miles from Hawaii. The island is called Bikini Atoll.
What is Bikini Atoll and why is it radioactive?
An atoll is a ring shaped reef island. Bikini Atoll is a small island that is found in the Marshall Islands, which are a series of islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Marshall Islands are basically located out in the middle of nowhere, therefore between 1946 and 1958, the US Government used the area as a nuclear test site, detonating 23 nuclear test bombs.
The US Government wanted to test the effects of nuclear bombs on ships. They detonated hydrogen bombs to see what would happen. Needless to say, nuclear bombs were overkill for the ships. They bombs were way too powerful and unnecessary to take out even the most armored ships.
In the video below, you can see how one nuclear bomb could take out an entire fleet of ships in a brief moment:
Notice in the video how foolishly the workers are in their handling of the contaminated ships after the explosions. At that time, radioactivity wasn’t well understood. I hope none of these people lost their hands after touching the infected surfaces.
Residents lived in Bikini Atoll Before and After The Testing
Residents lived in the area and were displaced until the nuclear tests were done. After the tests in 1970, they were permitted to move back. However, later soil samples were taken and it was discovered that the soil had very high levels of strontium-90, a highly radioactive substance. Additionally, the residents were found to have high concentrations of caesium-137 in their bodies. The nearly 100 residents were evacuated again in 1980.
Do people visit the radioactive islands?
Surprisingly, yes. Vacationers, travelers, interested scientists and historians visit the area. However, people are forbidden to visit the beaches and swim in the water. There is still significant radioactive material spread everywhere.
If you visit, let us know. Also, let keep us posted on your doctors visits for the next two years. We hope everything works out for you.
Thanks for reading!