Here's What Will Happen When A Nuclear War Breaks Out

I know you don’t ever want to think about what will happen if a nuclear weapon heads your way. Pretty much, you’d fucking die. But the kind folks over at AsapSCIENCE put together a handy video of how you’ll get there.


How you’ll get to death, I mean.

First, 35 percent of nuclear energy comes in the form of thermal radiation, which travels at the speed of light. You will feel the heat and be flash-blinded before the blast wave. As far as how much you will be burned, that depends on how close you are to the bomb and what you are wearing. If you are 11 kilometers away, you will get first degree burns. Ten kilometers will get you second degree burns and if you are unlucky enough to be 8 kilometers away, you will get third degree burns; without immediate medical treatment, third degree burns that cover 24 percent of your body will likely kill you.

Wear long-sleeve shirts and jeans at all times. That’ll help.

If you survive the bomb blast, you have to deal with the radiation that follows. Not all radiation is fatal though, as we encounter small amounts of it each day. Our cellphones are a good example. The amount of radiation you can survive largely depends on if you are outside or inside during a blast and the what the structure you are standing behind is made of.

A lot of whether you survive a nuclear blast or not depends on where you are when the thing drops. And since most nations won’t send us a message saying, “We’re gonna blow you off the face of the earth. Take cover,” we really can’t plan for it.

Also, any nuclear blast with any kind of weapon made today would do far more damage today than what took place in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.


But if you are in a survivalist kind of mood and want to figure out how to make it through all of that, AsapSCIENCE has a video for you on that.

Have a great day!

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.



The real question is not how to survive a nuclear war, but whether or not you want to survive a nuclear war. I think I’d rather go out in the first flash of light than stick around and try to make it through a nuclear winter and subsequent starvation only to find out that you’re not able to procreate because the radiation and subsequent fallout has sterilized you and then die slowly of cancers brought on by the fallout like thyroid cancer.