The 20 kiloton bomb released so much heat that it vaporized a steel tower

A tour of the Trinity Site, the place of the first atomic explosion in history

Within what is known today as alternative tourism, the desert of Jornada del Muerto, in New Mexico, United States, has a place that is radioactive.

The interior of the B-29 'Bockscar', the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki
Inside the ruins of a colossal launch complex of Titan I nuclear missiles

In that place, specifically at the coordinates 33°40′31″N 106°28′29″W, the Trinity Test took place on July 16, 1945: the first nuclear explosion in history, caused by the detonation of a 20 kiloton plutonium bomb. At that time, World War II had already ended in Europe, but it continued in the Pacific, with a very hard fight between Japan and the Allies.

In 1942, the United States had launched the Manhattan Project in order to develop atomic weapons. The best-known fruits of that project were the Little Boy and Fat Man atomic bombs that were dropped, respectively, on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, an attack with which the US wanted to put an end once and for all to the enormous bleeding of soldiers that the Pacific campaign was causing , due to stubborn Japanese resistance. The explosions killed tens of thousands of Japanese military and civilians instantly, as well as 70 Allied POWs who were being held in the area.

The Trinity Site explosion served to test nuclear weapons prior to their use in war. In this test, an implosion bomb was used, located inside a steel container called Jumbo, about 3 meters in diameter, a height of more than 7 meters and a weight of 194 tons, in order to to contain the effects of the bomb in case the explosion was unsuccessful. By the time it was shipped to Trinity Site, it was the heaviest load ever shipped on a train.

Jumbo survived the explosion, but badly damaged, but a steel tower located more than 700 meters from the detonation site was literally vaporized by an explosion that reached a temperature of 10 million degrees Celsius. Jumbo would be destroyed on April 16, 1946 during a US Army test in which eight high-powered bombs were detonated inside. What remains of Jumbo can be seen today at the Trinity Site.

A few months ago, Radioactive Drew posted a recorded video on the Trinity Site in April during one of the two annual visits in which the US Army, which still manages the White Sands shooting range, allows tourists to visit the site. Today the radiation in the area is higher than usual, but it does not carry health risks as long as it is a one-off visit:

You can see here some captures of the video. The large number of people who visit this place is striking.

Here we see the monolith placed at the Trinity Site in 1965, in memory of that first atomic explosion that took place there 20 years before.

This is what remains of Jumbo, the huge, heavy steel container inside which the bomb was detonated. It is located next to the tourist car park at Trinity Site.

This is all that remains of the steel tower located more than 700 meters from the detonation site. The steel vaporized due to the extreme temperatures.

The visit to the Trinity Site includes this very normal looking house. It's the McDonald Ranch. This is where that first atomic bomb was attached.

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