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Nuclear Shadows

Written by: George Chittenden : 13 Sep 2019

This unusual photo looks rather arty at first glance but when you delve a little deeper it tells a dark story. It is actually an image of a nuclear shadow caused by the bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima at 8:15 on the morning of August 6th, 1945. The shadow was caused by someone who was sat on a flight of stone steps leading up to the entrance of the Sumitomo Bank. When the nuclear device was dropped from a US B-29 bomber it detonated and killed over 70,000 people instantly.

The intense heat of the atomic explosion created what are known as nuclear shadows, disturbing reminders of the brutality of the bombing. The shadow was created because the unfortunate person who was sat on the steps blocked the intense UV radiation that the blast emitted. The surface of the pavement and steps had its colour changed by the blast. Consequently, the outlines of people and objects incinerated in the bombing left haunting shadow imprints behind on surfaces.

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