Ten casualties. Ten million casualties. Our understanding of conflicts is often nothing more than a handful of digits, the more precise, the less meaningful. The anchor’s tone remains the same when talking about major wars or isolated outbursts of violence. The horror lays hidden beneath the rigidity of numbers. Figures give us knowledge, not meaning.
We wanted to put a picture on these digits. A shocking, gory picture, like the reality of war. We wanted to give context, like a scale on which we could visualize each conflict next to the others.
On November 16, 1952, a B-36H bomber dropped a nuclear bomb over a point north of Runit Island in the Enewetak atoll, resulting in a 500 kiloton explosion — part of a test code-named Ivy. (U.S. Department of Defense)
I think it’s great to have that powerful of weapon technology in our back pocket. I just hope it never comes to a time where we have to use one of these again on a large scale. The fact that we know damn well several other countries have the same or better bombs is very scary.
A relevant XKCD comic on the U.S. Nuclear Chain Of Command: