Bikini Atoll is known for its a radioactive contamination. It is located in the Marshall Islands.
There was once a significant amount of radioactive testing that occurred at this location from 1946 and 1958. The peacetime atomic explosions were conducted by the U.S. government and 23 nuclear weapons were detonated after residents were temporarily relocated.
167 residents Micronesian inhabitants were transported by Navy landing crafts to Rongerik Atoll, which was approximately 125 miles away. This new island was only one-sixth the size of the Bikini Atoll.
The islanders didn’t know they wouldn’t be able to return to their homes after the tests were conducted. They had a society of traditional and close family units. They were told by the governor of the Marshall Islands that testing needed to be conducted for “the good of mankind and to end all world wars.”
The king of the Bikinians, King Juda, agreed and led them to relocate by reportedly stating, “We will go believing that everything is in the hands of God.”
Once the islanders were relocated, they tried to grow crops and harvest food on the new island, but they didn’t have as much production as they did on Bikini Island. In 1948, they were close to starvation due to a lack of food. Again, the navy assisted them in moving to Kwajalein where they could grow crops and live in a more hospitable location. This new island was about 200 miles from Bikini Island.
Where Is Bikini Island?
Bikini Island is located in the central Pacific Ocean in the western chain of the Marshall Islands. The island is located approximately halfway between Hawaii and Australia. When the nuclear tests were conducted by the U.S. government, the Namu, Bokonijien, and Aerokojlol islands were vaporized.
Did People Die?
Nuclear tests were responsible for killing about 11,000 U.S. residents, according to a report conducted in 2002.
Following the nuclear weapon testing, the U.S. government agreed to compensate for personal injury claims. This led to the establishment of a federal program that was set up for veterans who were ordered to participate in the nuclear testing from 1946 to 1958.
Did All The Residents Of Bikini Island Leave?
Yes, all the residents of Bikini Island were relocated after they were notified that testing would be conducted on the island.
The first bomb on Bikini Island was detonated in 1954 during Operation Castle. The bomb was code-named, “Castle Bravo.” In 1954, five more nuclear atomic bombs were detonated in the same area.
Does Anyone Live On Bikini Island?
There are only four to six caretakers that currently live on in the atoll, which includes Edward Maddison. Maddison has lived on Bikini Island since 1985 and is known as one of the descendants of a native that had to relocate in the 1940s. He is employed by the U.S. Department of Energy and is responsible for soil testing.
Researchers from Columbia University conducted tests that found the Bikini Atoll to still be uninhabitable. However, the Marshall Islands are now safe to inhabit because the radiation levels are within safe levels.
The Bikini Atoll is considered to be dangerous because the radioactive levels were found to be higher than what is deemed as safe in 2016. However, there is still a significant amount of marine animal life present in the crater that was left behind in the Bikini atoll. Researchers have discovered plenty of sharks, schools of fish, and even robust, healthy coral. Some of the coral is even larger than cars. Some of the coral looks like it’s been around for at least 50 years because of its size. They believe the island began to return to normal 10 years after the bombs were detonated.
Today, it still looks like a tropical paradise and has a lush environment with plenty of trees and plants present. To reach the island, it requires hopping to different islands and taking a boat ride for 27 hours. There are still sunken war ships present under the water that has been left behind. Some scuba divers still arrive to explore the underwater treasures and get a firsthand look at the beautiful but eerie setting.