his just in: The United States military was reportedly testing a fearsome backup weapon if "Fat Man" and "Little Boy," the respective code names for the two atomic bombs dropped over Japan in World War II, had failed to detonate. Documents recently unearthed by filmmaker Ray Waru reveal that the U.S. military was working with the New Zealand government to develop a devastating tsunami bomb, which was meant to send a 33-foot tidal wave crashing into Japan's coast.
Code-named "Project Seal," the WMD relied on a series of 10 large offshore blasts and was tested off the coast of New Caledonia and Auckland. "If you put it in a James Bond movie it would be viewed as fantasy," Waru tells the Telegraph. "But it was a real thing."
"Project Seal" was eventually shelved in 1945, once experts concluded that it would take some 2 million kilograms of explosives spread out over a five-mile stretch along Japan's coastline. But military testing persisted for years afterward. As Gregory Ferenstein at TechCrunch points out, the massive tsunami that slammed into Japan in 2011 was four times larger than the manmade variety, at 132 feet. The top-secret weapon is detailed in Waru's new book, Secrets and Treasures.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- This energy source could solve all of our problems — so why is no one talking about it?
Subscribe to the Week