These mind-blowing historic photos of atomic bomb tests will haunt your nightmares

All throughout the remote areas of the globe during the Cold War, scientists were testing atomic bombs. During these tests, photographs were routinely taken not just for the sake of record and research, but to be used as propaganda to intimidate anyone who would dare mess with the U.S. or USSR’s military power.

Each of these images are simultaneously terrifying, beautiful and haunting. It’s truly the stuff of nightmares.

Look (h/t: io9):

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

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

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Atomic cloud rises during the ‘Baker Day’ blast at Bikini Island in the Pacific, on July 25, 1946:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Radioactive clouds at the Bikini Atoll on May 21, 1956:

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

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