In a 1914 novel entitled The World Set Free, HG Wells wrote about a hand grenade made of uranium. He imagined it to “continue to explode indefinitely.” More than 30 years later, it turned into a reality, albeit in a different shape and size. The story about the creation of this bomb is featured at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. Since its inception, it influenced the world’s literature and pop culture. These things are worth a look since they became a huge part of our lifestyle.
The Atomic Bomb in Pop Culture
Pop culture immediately tapped into the controversy that was the atomic bomb. The Godzilla was designed as an allegory for nuclear weapons – a destructive monster that is supposed to defend humanity, but still poses a threat because of its great power. Godzilla was created in Japan, the place where the US military dropped nuclear bombs over the two cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.
Some other pop culture ideas were inspired by atomic bombs. This includes:
- Them! – Giant radioactive ants produced by a bomb testing creates destruction in Los Angeles
- The Shrinking Man – A man mutates and shrinks due to a radiation
- The Incredible Hulk – Bruce Banner, a scientist exposed to gamma rays turns into a green Hulk
- Spider-man – Gets superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider
The Atomic Bomb in British Sci-Fi
The British science fiction literature has a darker representation of the atomic bomb. For example, John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids is a post-apocalyptic story where God sent “Tribulation” to punish the sinners. It caused mutation and radiation sickness, implying a nuclear holocaust. Seven Days to Noon touches the moral crisis prevalent in the atomic age. It tells the story of a British atomic weapons scientist who was driven mad by the thought of the horrific power he helped create. The Day the Earth Caught Fire, on the other hand, documents the doom of humanity as nuclear tests accelerate climate change. However, a more realistic account of the atomic bomb and its creation can be found at the National Atomic Testing Las Vegas museum.
A Brighter View of the Atomic Bomb
Some people remained optimistic about the atomic bomb. Some authors created pieces like Eagle, Jetsons, and Dan Dare to entertain children and show them the technological potential of atomic power. It also inspired interior décors such as clocks and furniture. Even leisurewear mirrored the atomic bomb. The bikini got its name from the atoll in the Pacific where nuclear testing took place. The term “bombshell” was also inspired by the torpedo bra or the bullet bra which molded the female breasts into shapes similar to missiles and torpedoes.
The atomic bomb has an interesting history and an even more colorful effect to humanity. Bring your family to the atomic museum in Las Vegas to get a realistic glimpse of American and international nuclear history. A trip to Vegas isn’t complete without a stop at the National Atomic Testing Museum. Purchase your tickets today!