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Blowing shit up

October 9, 2009

So I’m staying up late (yes, past midnight on a Friday, what a rager!) to watch the Americans smash a rocket into the moon. I’ll expand on this post later. I expect this to be one of those things that is massively hyped up only to end up being a huge let down – still can’t help but watch it though.

UPDATE: Yes, it was a huge disappointment. People around the world had their eyes glued to NASA TV, anticipation building as mission control were counting down – “1 minute to centaur impact!” – hoping for at least some kind of visible plume. What we got was this:

Yeap, a bit fat lot of nothing.

So in light of this, below are my picks for the best explosions of all time.

Best TV explosion

Mythbusters

The team on the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters relish in blowing stuff up, and they are damn good at it. In episode 117 they tested various methods that could supposedly lead to homemade diamonds. Obviously they all failed (otherwise we’d all be doing it!) so they resorted to using 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of explosives to see if an explosion of this magnitude would instantly convert carbon into nice shiny diamonds. It did work, albeit creating only “industrial grade” diamonds. Sorry to say guys, but even if 5000 pounds of explosives could create a top quality stone, it’s still going to be cheaper to buy her that huge diamond engagement ring from the jewellery store.

Watch the videos here: Mythbusters \”Homemade diamonds\” explosion

Best natural explosion

Tunguska event

Take the above explosion, multiply it by a million and you have the magnitude of the impact of the Tunguska event. There are several different hypotheses as to what exactly caused this event, but the most widely held belief is that it was caused by a large meteoroid or comet entering the Earth’s atmosphere above Siberia, and exploding, causing a massive, but indirect, impact. The result was an enormous shockwave that felled trees, killed animals and knocked people off their feet hundreds of miles away. In the few days after the impact, skies in Europe and Asia were said to be glowing – likely due to the formation of Noctilucent clouds high in the atmosphere, composed of ice particles left over from the explosion. According to this reference, “The Guinness Book of World Records (1966 edition) states that due to the rotation of the Earth, if the collision had occurred 4 hours 47 minutes later, it would have completely destroyed the city of St. Petersburg”. Close call.

Scorched and flattened trees as a result of the Tunguska event

Best movie explosion

Live Free or Die Hard

I am massively biased here because I am a HUGE fan of the Die Hard movies. I love the scene where John McClane uses a car to blow up a helicopter because, “I was out of bullets”. The creativity here, combined with the excellent one liner (although from memory I don’t think he actually uses this line in the movie, it is just in the trailer) and the fact that it’s John McClane means it wins my vote for best movie explosion.

Signing off with a lolcat….

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 12, 2009 10:10 am

    Thanks to @nztechtweet (http://onehundredwatt.wordpress.com/) for the heads up on the Tunguska event 🙂

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