What would happen if humanity detonated every single nuclear warhead on Earth at the same time?

What would happen if humanity detonated every single nuclear warhead on Earth at the same time?
Should the world take Putin’s latest nuclear threats seriously?

Vladimir Putin has again raised the world's fears of a nuclear war by declaring that he intends to suspend Russia's participation in the new START treaty, the last remaining nuclear pact between the US and Russia.

The pact was first signed in 2010 between Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev and essentially means that both countries agree to onsite inspections of their nuclear weapons to make sure they are complying with the rules.

During his State of the Nation address on Tuesday, Putin said that Russia would begin conducting nuclear tests again but only if the United States did so first.

Speaking to Newsweek, former Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev said: "Today [Putin's] bluffing and we know that he has bluffed about nuclear threats. Ukrainians recovered some parts of their territory, and there was no nuclear retaliation. If you're afraid of Putin using nukes, then you already lose the war against him and he wins."

With the war in Ukraine nearing its 12-month anniversary and the reality of nuclear war is becoming far too prevelant when discussing Putin's actions.

With this in mind have you ever sat down one day and thought, "What would it be like if humanity decided to detonate all of the nuclear bombs on Earth at once?"

Of course, you haven't. That would be an absolutely insane thing for the planet to do.

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But, what would happen in the extremely unlikely instance all nukes went off at the same time?

If you needed confirmation that this would be a terrible idea, then we can only advise that you watch this highly disturbing video by Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell.

This colourful and completely gripping eight-minute video has already been viewed more than 27 million times on YouTube.

What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs at Once?

If you haven't got eight minutes to spare allow us to briefly breakdown some of the harrowing key points that it highlights.

  • As of 2019, there are 15,000 nuclear weapons on planet Earth.
  • It would take just three nuclear warheads to destroy one of the 4,500 cities on Earth, meaning 13,500 bombs in total, which would leave 1,500 left.
  • 15,000 warheads are the equivalent of 3 billions tons of TNT and 15x the energy of the Krakatoa volcano, the most powerful volcanic eruption ever.
  • When exploded it would create a fireball 50 km across and would create a blast wave that would wipe out everything in 3,000km radius.
  • The explosion would be heard around the world and the pressure wave would circulate around the world for the following weeks.
  • The mushroom cloud would reach the edges of the Earth's atmosphere and be near to space.
  • If it were detonated in South America's Amazon Rainforest it would create a fire that would burn down nearly the entire continent.
  • Radiation would kill everything within the blast radius and the surrounding for hundreds of kilometres is now uninhabitable.
  • The Amazon Rainforest is completely destroyed and the environment around the world is now highly radioactive but it would completely wipe out humanity.

Unfortunately, that isn't even the worst scenario that the video proposes. If humans were to mine every bit of uranium on the planet and create as many bombs as possible it would be catastrophic.

  • There is believed to be 35 million tones of uranium on Earth which is enough to create the equivalent of 10 billion Hiroshima bombs.
  • Once again, if it were detonated in the Amazon Rainforest, half of South America would be able to see the blast.
  • If would create a crater 100km across with debris being flung so far that some of it would end up in space.
  • It would kill most large animals and cause firestorms across the planet and earthquakes, stronger than anything ever recorded would decimate cities.
  • The ash cloud it would create would envelop the planet and prevent sunlight from reaching the surface and creating a global winter which would drop temperatures below freezing for decades.
  • All life on Earth would be extinct. Even the International Space Station would be destroyed thanks to the debris. You could survive if you were underground of underwater but only as long as your supplies last.
  • It would take millions of years for any form of life to reemerge on the planet.

Yeah...that's all a bit much isn't it?

Let's just hope the likes of Trump, Kim or Putin watch this video and get the wrong ideas.

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