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HISTORY

The Ghastly Sight Of Human Silhouettes On The Streets of Hiroshima

Por: Yazbek Leal23 de septiembre de 2021

Some silhouettes of the victims of the nuclear fission in Hiroshima are still engraved on its streets.

By the second half of 1945, World War II was coming to an end. The only power still standing was Japan; however, the atomic bomb in Hiroshima would become the endpoint for this nation.

What happened in Hiroshima?

On August 6, 1945, a small plane left a U.S. base in the Mariana Islands, loaded with an atomic bomb of mass destruction that had never been used before. After the atomic detonation, named "Little Boy," buildings, infrastructure, and of course people were wiped out. It is estimated that approximately 80 thousand died, and tens of thousands were injured.

That August 6, at 8:15 a.m., was a day that would go down in history forever. Nuclear fission generated a heatwave of more than 4,000 degrees Celsius, within a radius of 4.5 kilometers. According to experts at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, "the intense light and heat spread outward from the point of implosion. Objects and people in their path shielded the objects behind them by absorbing the light and energy." So, there was no further trace of them.

What do the human silhouettes on the streets of Hiroshima mean?

After the powerful detonation, the bodies disintegrated, and 70% of Hiroshima was destroyed. This is how several silhouettes were imprinted on the ground, more than 7 decades after the catastrophe, the shadows are still there. 

The energy expanded by different lengths, powered by uranium 235, in addition to the nuclear fission chain. The latter is the reason why the explosion happened in only a few minutes and with such might. The power of the radiation was so great and so destructive that it managed to pass through the human body over clothing and skin, destroying the genetic information of the victims. The only thing that remained was their shadow engraved on the floor.

Seventy-six years after Hiroshima, the Japanese state has decided to leave some of the shadows on the ground to remind and honor the victims of that catastrophic day in Japan's history.

Who detonated the Hiroshima bomb?

U.S. President Harry S. Truman authorized the dropping of an atomic bomb on the Japanese town of Hiroshima on August 6, 76 years ago."We used it to shorten the agony of war, to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans," the U.S. president justified himself three days later in a message broadcast on the day of the dropping of a second bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

Years after the tragedy, the pilot of the ship, Enola Gay, claimed he had no idea of the cargo he was carrying. And the U.S. apologized, saying that then-President Harry Truman had warned Japan of "swift and utter destruction" if they did not declare their rendition. However, later revisions of history show that the use of nuclear weapons was never permitted.

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards


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