Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The bikini and Godzilla

What does the beautiful bikini and the beasty Godzilla have in common?

Ans: A place called Bikini.

Bikini Atoll (also known as Pikinni Atoll) is an atoll in one of the Micronesian Islands in the Pacific Ocean, part of Republic of the Marshall Islands. 
Bikini Island is well-known for being the subject of nuclear bomb tests, and because the bikini swimsuit was named after the island in 1946. The two-piece swimsuit was introduced within days of the first nuclear test on the atoll, and the name of the island was in the news. Introduced just weeks after the one-piece "Atome" was widely advertised as the "smallest bathing suit in the world", it was said that the bikini "split the atome".

Between 1946 and 1958, twenty-three nuclear devices were detonated at Bikini Atoll, beginning with the Operation Crossroads series in the summer of 1946. The March 1st, 1954 detonation codenamed Castle Bravo, was the first test of a practical hydrogen bomb. The largest nuclear explosion ever set off by the United States, it was much more powerful than predicted, and created widespread radioactive contamination."Bravo had an explosive force equal to nearly 1,000 Hiroshima-type bombs. It vaporized the test island, parts of two other islands, and left a mile-wide crater in the lagoon floor. In total, nearly 70 acres of the Bikini Atoll were vaporized by the nuclear testing."
Among those contaminated were the 23 crewmembers of the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon 5. The ensuing scandal in Japan was enormous, and ended up inspiring the 1954 film Godzilla, in which the 1954 U.S. nuclear test awakens and mutates the monster, who then attacks Japan before finally being vanquished by Japanese ingenuity.

A large majority of the Bikinians were moved to a single island named Kili as part of their temporary homestead, but remain there today and receive compensation from the United States for their survival.

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