We've all seen the destruction that tsunamis can cause. It doesn't play around. But back in 1944, the US military wanted to play around with tsunamis in hope of creating a man made tsunami bomb — basically setting off 10 large blasts in the ocean to create a 10m tsunami that would pulverise and drown a city.
New Zealand author and filmmaker Ray Waru discovered these man-made tsunami bombs were set off in the top secret operation of "Project Seal" during World War II. Around 3700 bombs were detonated during the testing and the tests revealed that a successful tsunami bomb would require "about two million kilograms of explosive arrayed in a line about five miles from shore". Not exactly chump change.
Waru told the UK Telegraph:
"Presumably if the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people," said Mr Waru. "It was absolutely astonishing. First that anyone would come up with the idea of developing a weapon of mass destruction based on a tsunami ... and also that New Zealand seems to have successfully developed it to the degree that it might have worked."
Project Seal only lasted about a year and I'm kind of glad it never became a real weapon of mass destruction. We've seen what happens when real tsunami hits, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. [Telegraph via The Verge]