During the Cold War, scientists tested atomic bombs in remote areas of the globe. These terrifying and beautiful images were used in research, but they were also used to intimidate anyone who would be stupid enough to challenge the US or USSR in an armed conflict.

High-speed photos by Harold "Doc" Edgerton, taken during the first three milliseconds of Trinity test, July 16, 1945.

(via Edgerton Digital Collections)

0.016 seconds after an explosion at Trinity Site, July 16, 1945.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Berlyn Brixner)

Atomic cloud rises during the 'Baker Day' blast at Bikini Island in the Pacific, on July 25, 1946.

(Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers, Keystone/Getty Images and Trinity Atomic Web Site)

Explosion of George, the third of the four explosions during Operation Greenhouse, on May 9, 1951

(via U.S. Department of Defense and Wikimedia Commons)

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Ivy Mike, the first test of a thermonuclear weapon, on October 31/November 1, 1952

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Ivy King, the detonation of a very high yield pure-fission bomb, November 15, 1952

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The 15-kiloton Grable, test fired from a 280 mm cannon on May 25, 1953 as a part of Operation Upshot-Knothole.

(via National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office Photo Library/Wikimedia Commons)

Castle Bravo, the first American test of a dry fuel hydrogen bomb, detonated at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, March 1, 1954.

(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Government)

Castle Romeo, a test of the TX-17 thermonuclear weapon, March 27, 1954

(via United States Department of Energy/Wikimedia Commons)

Radioactive clouds at the Bikini Atoll on May 21, 1956

(Photo by AP)

Licorne, a test of a 914 kiloton thermonuclear bomb in the Mururoa Atoll, French Polynesia, July 3, 1970

(via Pierre J/Flickr)