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World | Marshall Islands | Diving Bikini Atoll:


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Bikini Atoll dive site map

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Diving Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands - courtesy of Martin & Tracy Frankcom

Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands was the site of 23 nuclear bomb tests between 1946 and 1958. It is a haven for divers due to the blasts which sunk ten major ships that were moored in the lagoon at the time. The Americans wanted to make it clear to the world that they were the leading superpower by detonating atomic bombs, choosing to do so in Bikini Atoll. The largest of the explosions came from the Bravo H-bomb in 1954 which vaporised three islands and threw radioactive debris over nearly 50,000 square miles.

The Bikinian people were relocated before the detonations with promises of being returned in the near future. This was not possible due to radiation levels as a result of the blasts, meaning the Bikinians are still not living on their homeland. However, it is safe to visit Bikini as the radioactive elements reside in the soil and will only affect you if you eat food grown on the islands. In fact it is said that Bikini has a lower background radiation level than either the UK or the USA, despite the detonations.

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