Operation Crossroads Historic Photos

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The U.S. Navy scattered 95 surplus ships around Bikini Island's lagoon before detonating a nuclear bomb above them. The experiment was designed to determine if ships could survive the emerging nuclear weapons technology.
WHOI personnel attach thermometers to Nansen sampling bottles for shipping to the Pacific. The instruments were used to survey the waters around Bikini Atoll before a nuclear bomb test. (WHOI Archives)
WHOI scientist Bill von Arx made a model of Rongelap Lagoon in a lab flume. He used it to correctly predict where radioactive water from a bomb test on neighboring Bikini Atoll would concentrate in the lagoon. (WHOI Archives)
To monitor how high waves generated by an underwater nuclear explosion would reach on nearby islands, WHOI scientist Allyn Vine devised cheap but effective devices: He nailed empty tin cans to palm trees at various heights. (WHOI Archives)

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