One test purportedly launched a manhole cover right the hell into outer space, though it's probable that never really happened. Oh, the manhole cover thing totally happened, but the more likely scenario is that it fell back to Earth so far away that it was never seen again.
According to physicist Dr. Robert Brownlee, who worked on the project, the idea was to detonate a nuclear bomb at the base of a 500-foot shaft, which was covered by the now legendary 900-kilogram metal cap. The intention was to see what would happen when a projectile was blown spaceward by an atomic explosion, with the hope that the outcome would be "pretty cool looking." Brownlee wasn't given all the details he needed to make the proper equations, so he had to improvise, which is why he initially predicted the cap would reach six times the escape velocity of the Earth and confuse the holy shit out of some aliens someday.
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But, Brownlee has retracted his initial assessment and speculated that atmospheric drag most likely brought the cap back to Earth. Still, nobody has ever located it, so we like to think that's how we make first contact: With a spinning, irradiated manhole cover, just whipping through space heedlessly and clanging into some poor alien's ship. You gotta admit: It's a pretty accurate first impression of humanity.
Using Nuclear Bombs To Put Out Oil Fires
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There was once a time when people thought the best solution to major natural disasters was to nuke them until they got better. Case in point: the Soviets' experiment with extinguishing runaway oil and gas fires by detonating nukes on top of them.
The Soviets needed to find some nonwarfare uses for their impressive arsenal of nuclear weapons, and they also needed to deal with all of their out-of-control gas and oil fires. So, wouldn't you know it? They came up with a novel solution to both problems! Just drop said nukes on said fires.
"Look, we're just going to keep mixing nukes with oil until
we die or get superpowers. Deal."
Shockingly, the method worked ... in the sense that it put out the fire. Although it also doused the surrounding countryside with years of crippling radiation, so we guess that's pretty much a wash. Nevertheless, the Soviets used it four more times, all the way up until 1981, when their first failure put an end to the project. Still, a 4/5 success rate meant that BP briefly considered the technique as a solution to their 2010 oil disaster. Though the idea was presumably scrapped when some brave soul stood up and said, "Seriously, guys? Seriously?"
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"The oil is already in water, so it would be like double fire prevention!"
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