What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs at Once?

What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs at Once?


Many of our viewers have asked us
a very serious question:
Many of our viewers have asked us
a very serious question:
What if we made a big pile of bombsWhat if we made a big pile of bombsand exploded every nuclear weapon
in the world all at once?
and exploded every nuclear weapon
in the world all at once?
Strangely enough, we couldn’t find a good sourceStrangely enough, we couldn’t find a good sourceto answer this question to our satisfaction.to answer this question to our satisfaction.So, we gathered together a few scientists
to calculate what would happen.
So, we gathered together a few scientists
to calculate what would happen.
And find an answer to this extremely
important scientific problem,
And find an answer to this extremely
important scientific problem,
once and for all.once and for all.Currently, there are 15,000 nuclear weapons on Earth.Currently, there are 15,000 nuclear weapons on Earth.The US and Russia both have around 7,000,The US and Russia both have around 7,000,while France, China, the UK,
Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea
while France, China, the UK,
Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea
own around 1,000 between them.own around 1,000 between them.But, how much destructive power is this really?But, how much destructive power is this really?Let’s try to put these numbers into perspective.Let’s try to put these numbers into perspective.On Earth, there are about 4,500 cities or urban areasOn Earth, there are about 4,500 cities or urban areaswith at least 100,000 inhabitants.with at least 100,000 inhabitants.Some are bigger than others,
so we’ll assume that on average,
Some are bigger than others,
so we’ll assume that on average,
we need three nuclear bombs to completely wipe out one city.we need three nuclear bombs to completely wipe out one city.This means we could destroy
every single city on planet Earth,
This means we could destroy
every single city on planet Earth,
with our nuclear arsenal,with our nuclear arsenal,killing more than three billion people
— roughly half of humanity
killing more than three billion people
— roughly half of humanity
in an instant.in an instant.And, we’d still have 1,500 nuclear weapons left.And, we’d still have 1,500 nuclear weapons left.Now that’s what an expert would call, “overkill.”Now that’s what an expert would call, “overkill.”So, we can say with confidence,
that we have a lot of nuclear weapons
So, we can say with confidence,
that we have a lot of nuclear weapons
and they can do a lot of damage.and they can do a lot of damage.But, what if we make a huge pile
of all 15,000 bombs and pull the trigger?
But, what if we make a huge pile
of all 15,000 bombs and pull the trigger?
Let’s drop our nuclear pile in the middle of the Amazon rainforest;Let’s drop our nuclear pile in the middle of the Amazon rainforest;just a show nature who’s boss.just a show nature who’s boss.Our warheads, piled haphazardly,
fit into a small warehouse.
Our warheads, piled haphazardly,
fit into a small warehouse.
A typical US warhead has the power
of two hundred thousand tons of TNT.
A typical US warhead has the power
of two hundred thousand tons of TNT.
So, fifteen thousand warheads would be
the equivalent of three billion tons of TNT.
So, fifteen thousand warheads would be
the equivalent of three billion tons of TNT.
For scale, this is enough
to rebuild the whole island of Manhattan
For scale, this is enough
to rebuild the whole island of Manhattan
with every building and skyscraper using stacks of TNT.with every building and skyscraper using stacks of TNT.The closest thing we can compare
to the energy gathered here, is a volcano.
The closest thing we can compare
to the energy gathered here, is a volcano.
One of the deadliest volcanic eruptions
in recorded history took place in 1883,
One of the deadliest volcanic eruptions
in recorded history took place in 1883,
on the island of Krakatoa.on the island of Krakatoa.The eruption was so powerful, that 70% of the island,The eruption was so powerful, that 70% of the island,and the surrounding archipelago, was destroyedand the surrounding archipelago, was destroyedkilling tens of thousands of people.killing tens of thousands of people.Its effects were felt around
the world for days after the event.
Its effects were felt around
the world for days after the event.
Our nuclear pile contains 15 times
the energy of the Krakatoa volcanic eruption.
Our nuclear pile contains 15 times
the energy of the Krakatoa volcanic eruption.
So, let’s finally push the button.So, let’s finally push the button.Three,Three,two,two,one.one.In a second,In a second,a fireball 50 kilometers across
vaporizes everything in its way,
a fireball 50 kilometers across
vaporizes everything in its way,
and creates a blast wave that flattens
3,000 square kilometers of forest.
and creates a blast wave that flattens
3,000 square kilometers of forest.
Every living thing within
250 kilometers will start to burn.
Every living thing within
250 kilometers will start to burn.
The explosion will be heard literally around the world,The explosion will be heard literally around the world,as the pressure wave circles the Earth
tens of times over the next few weeks.
as the pressure wave circles the Earth
tens of times over the next few weeks.
Millions of tons of incinerated material
are catapulted into the atmosphere.
Millions of tons of incinerated material
are catapulted into the atmosphere.
The mushroom cloud reaches
the outer reaches of the stratosphere,
The mushroom cloud reaches
the outer reaches of the stratosphere,
pushing up against space itself.pushing up against space itself.After things have calmed down,After things have calmed down,a small crater — about ten kilometers acrossa small crater — about ten kilometers acrossis left in the center of the worst
world fires the planet has seen in millennia,
is left in the center of the worst
world fires the planet has seen in millennia,
spreading throughout South America,
burning down forests and cities alike.
spreading throughout South America,
burning down forests and cities alike.
And, now, the unpleasant part begins.And, now, the unpleasant part begins.Extremely radioactive material
will kill living things very quickly,
Extremely radioactive material
will kill living things very quickly,
and a large area several kilometers
around the crater is now uninhabitable,
and a large area several kilometers
around the crater is now uninhabitable,
as is everywhere for hundreds of kilometers downwind.as is everywhere for hundreds of kilometers downwind.Much of the fallout is carried high
into the atmosphere by the mushroom cloud
Much of the fallout is carried high
into the atmosphere by the mushroom cloud
and carried around the planet.and carried around the planet.The amount of radioactive material
in the environment doubles worldwide,
The amount of radioactive material
in the environment doubles worldwide,
which still isn’t civilization-ending,
but we may see more cancer for a while.
which still isn’t civilization-ending,
but we may see more cancer for a while.
A portion of the particles will flow
to the edge of space for years
A portion of the particles will flow
to the edge of space for years
and cause a nuclear winterand cause a nuclear winterthat could lower global temperatures
by a few degrees for a few years.
that could lower global temperatures
by a few degrees for a few years.
This explosion was pretty bad if
you’re in South America, and especially Brazil.
This explosion was pretty bad if
you’re in South America, and especially Brazil.
The Amazon rainforest is pretty much history, which is not great.The Amazon rainforest is pretty much history, which is not great.But, human life will go on.But, human life will go on.OK, but what if we explode more nuclear weapons?OK, but what if we explode more nuclear weapons?Let’s suppose humanity decided
to mine every bit of uranium on Earth
Let’s suppose humanity decided
to mine every bit of uranium on Earth
and build as many nuclear bombs as possible.and build as many nuclear bombs as possible.At current usage,At current usage,it’s estimated that there are around
35 million tons of uranium in Earth’s crust;
it’s estimated that there are around
35 million tons of uranium in Earth’s crust;
enough to power human civilization for over 2,000 years,enough to power human civilization for over 2,000 years,or to build millions of nuclear warheads.or to build millions of nuclear warheads.For the sake of argument,For the sake of argument,let’s say we create a pile
with the yield of 10 billion Hiroshima bombs,
let’s say we create a pile
with the yield of 10 billion Hiroshima bombs,
which makes up a cube three kilometers high
that contains roughly the energy
which makes up a cube three kilometers high
that contains roughly the energy
of the asteroid impact that ended
the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
of the asteroid impact that ended
the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Except, it’s also nuclear.Except, it’s also nuclear.Three,Three,two,two,one.one.Our pile explodes in a fireball
stretching so high into the sky
Our pile explodes in a fireball
stretching so high into the sky
that it’s visible from half of South America,that it’s visible from half of South America,with so much power that
the ground just splashes like water
with so much power that
the ground just splashes like water
forming a crater 100 kilometers across.forming a crater 100 kilometers across.Bedrock on the scale of whole mountain ranges
is vaporized in an instant,
Bedrock on the scale of whole mountain ranges
is vaporized in an instant,
while thousands of tons of material
is catapulted away with such speed,
while thousands of tons of material
is catapulted away with such speed,
that it’s ejected into space.that it’s ejected into space.Some leaves Earth forever,Some leaves Earth forever,while most of it comes raining down
as hot, burning debris
while most of it comes raining down
as hot, burning debris
that heats up the atmosphere
to oven-like temperatures,
that heats up the atmosphere
to oven-like temperatures,
killing most big animals
and causing fire storms all over the world.
killing most big animals
and causing fire storms all over the world.
The Earth’s crust rings like a bellThe Earth’s crust rings like a bellstruck by global earthquakes
stronger than anything in recorded history,
struck by global earthquakes
stronger than anything in recorded history,
decimating cities around the world,decimating cities around the world,while hurricane-force winds flatten
every single tree in South America,
while hurricane-force winds flatten
every single tree in South America,
and wildfires consume the continent.and wildfires consume the continent.The abundance of hydrocarbons
in the Amazon burn to form ash,
The abundance of hydrocarbons
in the Amazon burn to form ash,
are cast into the atmosphere, darting the skyare cast into the atmosphere, darting the skyand keeping sunlight from reaching the surface,and keeping sunlight from reaching the surface,dropping temperatures to near freezing worldwide.dropping temperatures to near freezing worldwide.The ensuing global winter may last for decades,The ensuing global winter may last for decades,and results in the extinction
of every large animal species, humans included.
and results in the extinction
of every large animal species, humans included.
We could also mention that every corner
of the planet is covered with radioactive fallout,
We could also mention that every corner
of the planet is covered with radioactive fallout,
but at this point, it doesn’t matter that much anymore.but at this point, it doesn’t matter that much anymore.This is humanity’s extinction event.This is humanity’s extinction event.The astronauts aboard the International Space Station
get to enjoy a great view for a while,
The astronauts aboard the International Space Station
get to enjoy a great view for a while,
but it’s not unlikely that the spray
of rocks blast into orbit will destroy the Station.
but it’s not unlikely that the spray
of rocks blast into orbit will destroy the Station.
Those lucky enough to be in bunkers,
or in submarines deep below the ocean surface,
Those lucky enough to be in bunkers,
or in submarines deep below the ocean surface,
may survive the longest
before they exhaust their food supplies,
may survive the longest
before they exhaust their food supplies,
and have to venture out for more.and have to venture out for more.They’ll find the world a
charred, freezing, radioactive wasteland.
They’ll find the world a
charred, freezing, radioactive wasteland.
The planet, itself, doesn’t care at all.The planet, itself, doesn’t care at all.After just a few million years,
the wounds of the explosions have healed
After just a few million years,
the wounds of the explosions have healed
and life is thriving,and life is thriving,arguably even more so
than when humans were around.
arguably even more so
than when humans were around.
If intelligent life emerges again,
it might be able to work out what happened.
If intelligent life emerges again,
it might be able to work out what happened.
When they study geology,
they’ll find a bizarre and very thin layer of rock
When they study geology,
they’ll find a bizarre and very thin layer of rock
covering the entire world,
enriched in radioactive elements like uranium,
covering the entire world,
enriched in radioactive elements like uranium,
and the other nasty things it decays to,and the other nasty things it decays to,mixed with rare earth metals
and plastics that humans used.
mixed with rare earth metals
and plastics that humans used.
They would probably be very, very confused.They would probably be very, very confused.Videos like this one take
well over 1200 hours to finish.
Videos like this one take
well over 1200 hours to finish.
Over the years, we put more
and more effort into research,
Over the years, we put more
and more effort into research,
conversations with experts,
illustration and animation,
conversations with experts,
illustration and animation,
sound design and fact-checking.sound design and fact-checking.For this video, we put a lot
of extra work into our sources document.
For this video, we put a lot
of extra work into our sources document.
You can read how we got to the information in the video,You can read how we got to the information in the video,what our experts thought about it,what our experts thought about it,where they disagreed with each other.where they disagreed with each other.We can take the time to do this,We can take the time to do this,because of you: our viewers.because of you: our viewers.Because you watch and share our videos, buy our posters,Because you watch and share our videos, buy our posters,and support us on patreon.com.and support us on patreon.com.If you like what we’re doing,
please consider becoming a patron,
If you like what we’re doing,
please consider becoming a patron,
or get one of the nice things we made with love.or get one of the nice things we made with love.Thank you for watching!Thank you for watching!

100 thoughts to “What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs at Once?”

  1. earth explodes
    Sun "You okay down there???"
    Earth: paralyzed
    Humans: Dead
    Sun: what
    100m years later…
    planet comes back alive
    Sun explodes

  2. It’s scary to think that a skilled hacker could just hack into a lot of the nuclear programs around the world and do something like this

  3. What if we were the next generations and millions years before us there was another humanity who detonates all the nuke around the world just like the video and then the earth healed herself?

  4. So… To fix global warming we'll need to collect all nuclear weapons, put them into a pile, and then detonate it? Now, instead of nuking the Amazon, can we set it off in a desert somewhere?

  5. Please tell me I'm not the only one who wanted to cry watching all the little animated birds die in the explosions/radioactive stuff 😢😭

  6. Fun fact: That 3 billion ton TNT explosion can also be achieved by converting an obese man into his mass energy equivalent. This can be done by throwing him into a tank of antimatter of at least his equivalent weight, or by compressing him into a singularity and having him evaporate

  7. after the 15,000 warhead example in the amazon, you said "human life will go on". That's a big assumption. You didn't factor in how the blocking out of the sun by that much soot released into the atmosphere would cause global crop failure and massive famine that would kill billions of animals and people. It's possible no human would survive just from the impact on the foodchain that would cause, we could have extinction by starvation. 3 years of nuclear winter is plenty of time for every single person to die of starvation.

    Scientists say that even one small atomic bomb exploding in a large city in India or Pakistan would have so much impact on global temperatures and photosynthesis that it would trigger crop failures around the world and cause untold famine. 15,000 warheads converting the entire amazon rainforest into radioactive smoke and soot that gets carried around the world — that's enough to end civilization, let alone countless other species and maybe even kill off the delicate aquatic ecosystem of diatoms and algae that depend on the rainforest to survive. If that aquatic system collapses, there goes the the main source of oxygen, let alone the fact the Amazon itself would be gone.

    It's humanity ending for sure. Even a few bombs at this critical tipping point in global warming could knock over the dominos and cause multiple food chains to rapidly collapse, and plummet us into World War over basic resources like clean fresh water, which will finish the job of killing us off.

  8. It doesn't take 10 Billion hiroshima bombs to end land life on earth, why do you put the number required for human extinction ridiculously higher than the number of bombs we actually have? It doesn't take a fucking planet buster. TEN BILLION bombs? NO — in fact, LESS THAN 15,000 nukes is plenty enough to cause human extinction via rapid succession of food chain collapse, extreme natural disasters and famine. When civilization breaks down, that's it for us. We're not surviving as naked animals without a civilization. And civilization may even collapse without any nuke exploding at all — just from capitalism left to its own contradictions. The mortal coil of human existence is basically tied to earth by a thread. that's how fragile it all is, so no it's not going to take 10 billion bombs @

  9. I think it's kinda cool how life on Earth will just restart after a nuclear bomb for a thousand years

    It feels like the plot of Adventure Time lol

  10. im both amazed and saddened at how many people didn't knpw that the Amazon Rain forest got fires… like for real what the fuck!

    hell this years fire wasn't even that bad especially compared to the 80, 90, and especially the 2000s and to add overall this was one of the lesser fires and honestly it's not all that bad.

    Just look to china, india and africa for a more telling example in comparison, too much people with little to no regulations or blatantly ignoring any just polluting an enormous amount every year.

  11. I wonder if a sort of "firestorm engine" could both reverse climate change and solve a country's energy problems? It's a fairly extreme measure, but basically, detonate a nuclear weapon or a lot of fire bombs like during WWII in an area with a lot of flammables, then just feed it with low quality fuel like wood sure to produce soot. Yes, it will generate CO2 emissions from the perpetural inferno, but any global warming it causes will be vastly outweighed by the giant flaming cyclone sucking all the soot into the upper stratosphere.

  12. Their no such thing as lucky survivors in a situation like this I much rather die fast then be stuck in a bunker or submarine until we starve to death or more likely die from dehydration.

  13. Fakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkcccccccccccccccçccccccccccccck now before dinosaurs no this like whatttttt you b###

  14. I wonder to what extent the detonating bombs would destroy each other, preventing them from reaching their full potential. I mean, detonating nuclear bombs is a very carefully engineered process that requires critical pressures and containments are maintained to ensure full use of the material.

  15. "lets drop all the bombs in the Amazon rainforest , Just to Show Nature who's the Boss"

    Excuse me WTF
    Its already burning

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