25 Of The Deadliest Explosions Man Ever Made

25 Of The Deadliest Explosions Man Ever Made


Everybody likes to watch explosions. Come on, admit it: you like looking at enormous blasts on YouTube because they simultaneously thrill you and make you feel safer and more cautious in your tiny little life. OK, maybe I am projecting a little. But who cares. Whether they’re the result of war, science, freak accidents or rocket failures, destruction is in our blood. The fireball is our final heartbeat, the blastwave is our last breath.

I hope you love the following selection of devastating detonations as much as I do.


The Halifax explosion, December 1917

The town of Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) was destroyed by the explosion of a cargo ship loaded with military explosives. About two thousand people were killed and almost 10 thousands were injured. Until the first nuclear blast, it was the largest man-made explosion in recorded history with an equivalent force of 2.9 kilotons of TNT.

Source: Wikimedia Commons


The Hindenburg catastrophe, May 1937


Photo: AP


The fate of USS Shaw, December 1941


Photo: NHHC


The Trinity explosion, July 1945


Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory


Texas City Disaster, April 1947

Refineries and oil storage tanks of the Monsanto chemical plant burn in the waterfront area of Texas City, TX. The disaster was caused by the explosion of the French ship Grandcamp, which was loaded with 7700 tons of ammonium nitrate. About 2.7 kilotons of energy — the equivalent of 1.134 kilotons of TNT — was released. 581 died and more than 5000 were injured. This is generally considered the worst industrial accident in United States history.

Photo: AP


Heligoland, April 1947


Source: YouTube/LordGeorgeRodney


Castle Bravo, March 1954


Photo: United States Department of Energy/Wikimedia Commons


The Vanguard explosion, December 1957


Source: YouTube/CRGIS Interns


Ripple Rock, April 1958


Source: YouTube/John Hutchison


Failed Titan I launch, December 1959



Source: YouTube/Mr Dan Beaumont

The Nedelin catastrophe, October 1960


Source: YouTube/Roscosmos


The Tsar Bomba, October 1961


Photo: YouTube/kovainfo


Atlas-Centaur rocket explosion, March 1965


Source: YouTube/BubbyTechTV


Operation Sailor Hat, 1965


Photo: US Navy/NHHC


N1 launch explosion, July 1969


Source: YouTube/Roscosmos TV


The Murdock BLEVE, September 1983


Source: YouTube/robytar


The San Juanico disaster, November 1984


Source: YouTube/Miguel Angel Sanabria Aguilar


Minor Scale, June 1985


Photo: globalsecurity.org/nuclearfiles.org


The PEPCON disaster, May 1988


Source: YouTube/DiscoveryNetworks


MOAB test, 2003


Source: YouTube/MilitaryChannel


Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal Fire, December 2005


Photo: Hertfordshire Police/Getty Images


Sea Launch Rocket Failure, January 2007


Source: YouTube/Tolbert1906


FOAB test, September 2007


Source: YouTube/HHHuSSStleRRR


The last BLU-82, July 15, 2008


Photo: Capt Patrick Nichols/US Air Force


Cataño oil refinery fire, October 2009


Photo: CSB


Did we miss you favourite blast? Post it in the comments!