Tsar Bomba – The Soviet Union’s Mega Bomb

And how it is terrifying for all



“File:Tsar Bomba Revised.jpg” by User:Croquant with modifications by User:Hex is marked with CC BY-SA 3.0.

By: Jason Reznikov, Journalist

After the end of World War II, a cold nuclear war began between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Both countries raced to produce as many nuclear weapons as they possibly could, preparing for the possibility of a nuclear war. However, it appeared that the Soviet Union was winning this race. By the end of the Cold War, America had about 20,000 nuclear bombs compared to the Soviet Union’s nearly 60,000 atomic bombs. However, a video was released in 2020, more than 59 years after the fact, that terrified everybody.


“Nuke” by blueforce4116 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

On August 6th, 1945, the Little Boy nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. This bomb devastated the land, measuring an incredible 13 kilotons of explosive force. This is the same as about 2.2 million pounds of force. However, this massive explosion looks like a spec compared to the Tsar Bomba, which measured in at about 50 megatons. This is about 3,800 times the force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. On October 30th, 1961, the Tsar Bomba was dropped on the Mityushikha Bay test site. It blew up about 2.5 miles above land and created a mushroom cloud 37 miles high. The shockwave from the blast was sent around the Earth a total of three times before finally dissipating.

The Scare

However, even with this massive explosion, this wasn’t even the full power of the Tsar Bomba. This bomb had the capacity to explode with a force of 100 megatons instead of 50. The only reason this was not done in the test explosion was that it was thought to be “too dangerous”. This is terrifying because not only was the bomb huge, but nobody even knew about it at the time. The Tsar Bomba was a well-kept secret by the Soviet Union. The footage of the Tsar Bomba exploding didn’t come out to the public until August 28th of 2020, which was deeply concerning to all. This brought up many questions; what if modern-day Russia has more bombs? What if there is a massive world-ending bomb that we don’t know about? These are all valid questions that, for now, are left unanswered. With the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat of nuclear weapons, for all we know, we are on the brink of extinction.


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