Top of Kim Jong-un's nuclear hit list? A small town in Surrey, apparently

Louis Dor
Friday 08 January 2016 17:00
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Friday is Kim Jong-un's birthday and given that North Korea claimed they had carried out their first successful Hydrogen bomb test a few days ago, some frivolous stories have been appearing online.

This is one of those stories...

At 10am on Wednesday, the Huffington Post wrote an article on the potential effects of a Nuclear bomb on London.

The article was accompanied by a gallery of fancy mockups of the effects of strikes in the city centre, as well as quotes from various experts on the test detonation claims of the day:

The graphics were made with the tool 'Nukemap', which measures the effects of Nuclear Bomb strikes with various sizes of payload and was created by Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear historian at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Understandably, Wellerstein has seen a rise in traffic since the Huffington Post article, as he commented on Twitter:

HuffPo wasn't the only site to use his tool.

The Gloucestershire Echo showed the effect of a nuclear strike on Cheltenham, where the GCHQ is based...

...as did the Bristol Post for the city of its readership...

...as did the New Zealand Herald for the city of Auckland.

Finally, on Friday, the Epsom Guardian described the devastation that a nuclear device would inflict upon the Surrey commuter-belt town.

The article describes how a 150 metre blast:

would see the town centre decimated, yet it looks as if the famous Epsom Downs racecourse would survive, as would Ashtead, Banstead and Leatherhead.

i100.co.uk has taken the liberty of running complex computer simulations to produce this projection, from the view of the famous racecourse, home to the derby.

Image was 100 per cent, absolutely, in no way made in Photoshop. Nope. (Original, unedited pictures: Getty)

While claims that North Korea may have tested a fusion nuclear weapon is concerning, we're relatively certain that a targeted strike on Epsom won't be happening any time soon.

(Original pictures: Getty)

On a serious note, have a play around with Wellerstein's Nukemap tool, it's a fun and informative ten minutes.

More: These are the countries which have tested the most nuclear weapons since 1945

More: This is the official signal that a nuclear war could be about to break out

More: Every nuclear detonation from 1945 to the present day, visualised

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