Nuclear Bombs make bad bottle openers

At the peak of the Cold War, the US and Russia were at each other’s throats and preparing for imminent attacks from the other side.

While war is serious, this did not eliminate experiments with absurd ideas. The Federal Civil Defence Administration tried to nuke beer, soda and carbonated water.

It was not a waste of taxpayer money. After dropping the big ones on Japan, the US was rightfully worried that Russia would try to do the same thing to the US. While recovering from a nuclear attack is close to impossible, the first need would be potable water, particularly for first responders. In a destroyed city, a good source of hydration would be the commercial beverages sold (sourced from non-nuked cities, I presume).

The scientists placed beer bottles and cans across test sites in Nevada, refrigerating some, shelving some, and keeping some just out in the open to see how nuclear bombs destroyed these drinks.

Surprisingly, the beverages survived the blast. The ones damaged were due to flying shrapnel or falling on to the ground. Even more interestingly, they had fairly low levels of radioactive contamination.

Moral of the story – if you want to survive a nuclear holocaust, stock up on beer – you are not doing it because you are an alcoholic, but for humanity and for science.

Source: Absurd Scientific Advice for common real-world problems, by Randall Munroe.

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