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Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll

Illustration for article titled Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll

When io9 reader Chris Carey's grandfather, a WWII veteran, passed away, he took it upon himself to assemble a slideshow for the funeral. While searching through a dusty photo album that he'd found in the attic, Carey made an incredible find: numerous photographs of the atomic bomb testing conducted at Bikini Atoll.

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Carey recounted his discovery in an email to io9:

My grandfather passed away last month (at 93 years!). I always knew that he had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and had been a part of the atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll, but it wasn't until I went through his old photo albums... that I found actual pictures of the testing.

The images are awe-inspiring. He always told me it was the most terrible thing he'd ever seen. You'll notice in some of the pictures that there are a bunch of ships that are REALLY close to the explosion. These are old ships, and the Navy wanted to test the effect of the bomb on these ships. My grandfather remember some of them actually disintegrating before his eyes.

I hope this is something that can be passed along to io9 readers. I know my granddad would have loved to share these pictures with others if he could have.

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We found the pictures to be breathtaking, and we think you will, too. A big thanks to Chris for sharing his awesome find!

All photographs courtesy of Chris Carey

Illustration for article titled Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll
Illustration for article titled Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll
Illustration for article titled Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll
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Illustration for article titled Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll
Illustration for article titled Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll
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Illustration for article titled Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll

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DISCUSSION

This is an incredible find, to be sure. And no disrespect to your grandfather or those who were called to serve there during that time ... But I can't help but be saddened by the collateral damage of those tests. Having lived and studied in the pacific islands, it hits close to home. An entire indigenous culture was displaced from those islands (and has for 50+ years been the recipient of donated goods and produce from the US because their islands no longer sustain edible life), and a valuable ecosystem was obliterated (to this day those islands are contaminated), not to mention leaving the resident population with some of the highest per-capita cancer rates in the world. Hindsight is 20/20, but IMHO we screwed the pooch on this one.