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How to Survive a Nuclear Attack

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If you want to be prepared for a nuclear attack, here’s a science-based guide to help you get there. Hosted by: Olivia Gordon ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Lazarus G, Kelly Landrum Jones, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Knupp, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, alexander wadsworth, سلطان الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Bader AlGhamdi, James Harshaw, Patrick Merrithew, Patrick D. Ashmore, Candy, Tim Curwick, charles george, Saul, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Viraansh Bhanushali, Kevin Bealer, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Justin Lentz ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: https://www.ready.gov/nuclear-blast https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/prep_nuclear_fact_sheet.pdf https://www.epa.gov/radiation/protecting-yourself-radiation https://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/ https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1821-25045-3023/planning_guidance_for_response_to_a_nuclear_detonation___2nd_edition_final.pdf http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/470/2163/20130693 https://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/getinside.asp http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/chinese-state-media-release-a-guide-in-case-of-nuclear-attack/all/ https://plannownyc.cityofnewyork.us/types-of-terrorist-attacks/ https://fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/ncr.pdf https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/nz8jpg/how-to-survive-the-first-hour-of-a-nuclear-attack https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/15/543647878/in-the-event-of-a-nuclear-blast-don-t-condition-your-hair https://www.racked.com/2017/8/10/16114814/post-nuclear-decontamination-shower-no-conditioner https://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/arsphysicianfactsheet.asp https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK219165/ https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/09/18/how-does-hair-conditioner-work/ https://books.google.com/books?id=6xPNBQAAQBAJ&lpg=PA240&ots=bMz9Y_yscI&dq=50%25%20blast%2C%2035%25%20thermal&pg=PA240#v=onepage&q&f=false Images: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File%3AOperation_Upshot_test.ogv https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Operation_Crossroads_Baker_Edit.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blast-wave.png http://www.thinkstockphotos.com/image/stock-photo-burning-armchair/526073941 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trinity_explosion_film_strip.jpg http://www.thinkstockphotos.com/image/stock-photo-african-american-man-showering/82981558 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chelyabinsk_meteor_event_consequences_in_Drama_Theatre.jpg http://www.thinkstockphotos.com/image/stock-photo-bomb-shelter/618362552 http://www.thinkstockphotos.com/image/stock-photo-blurred-defocused-background-of-old-garage/814041856
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Text Comments (1330)
You're Right (6 hours ago)
Honestly if nuclear war breaks out I would rather be vaporized then struggle through the nuclear winter.
HenryManson (2 days ago)
standing on a pile of dirt while everybody else ducks&covers, yelling : mmmh i love the smell of radiation in the morning
Kelsey Luis popon (17 days ago)
I mean. Make the Theoretical Tsar Bomba they say it might be 50 or 100 Megatons and it shakes the world 5x
Kelsey Luis popon (17 days ago)
Just Make another Tsar Bomba lol its 10 *MEGATONS OF TNT*
Thermonuclear Bomb (20 days ago)
You dont
καμιά ψυχή (22 days ago)
It's kinda funny that even though you're using imperial measurements in tons since you use Kilo you use metric distances... :-p
CRYTIC GAMING!!! (24 days ago)
I had a freaky dream last night that was almost to real
Luck z (28 days ago)
If I take a shower after a blast can I at least use my deo stick under my arms? I like it.
1954 FA Cup (1 month ago)
You can't fool me Amy Farrah Fowler. You've lost a few pounds since TBBT, and it looks good on you. Nice video too.
Saucy man Get the oil (1 month ago)
Standing on the edge
Izuriel Palanayukei (1 month ago)
Work on that inflection, girl. It sounds like you're about to end sentences in questions sometimes. Great job! :D I love this stuff, even though I'll never prepare for it - Zombie Apoc. Style is how I'll survive a nuke... If I do, which I probably won't. <3
Christian Andrade (1 month ago)
The longest was in our basement is lined with windows... what do I do now
Scouty D (1 month ago)
Go to vault 111
JRodgesevant (1 month ago)
A word of advice, if you can get to one, find a shelter that has walls made of led. (sorry, idk how to spell it)
Yasam Farooq (1 month ago)
Im running to the masjid, hallas. Too blessed man.
mauikeith (1 month ago)
Olivia, even though you look überhot in black, wearing it during a nuclear attack would likely cause you to burst into flames from the flash, instead of simply boiling pavement into lava in your wake.
jordan rivard (1 month ago)
sure 400kilotons doesn't sound as big as the megaton yelid warheads but most icbms use a mirv system so each missile isn't just going to have one of those it's going to have several so your dealing with a cluster of explosions not just a single large blast. The reason they switched from useing larger yields want weight baring but effectiveness as baring hardened bunkers multiple small explosions do more damage. It's also harder to stop sevral 500 kiloton warheads than one multi megaton yield one.
Joshua Vogel (1 month ago)
wow horrible research done here modern nuclear weapons can easily be 50-250 MT along with MRV's (multiple re-entry vehicles.)
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Are you sure? The highest yield nuclear weapon in the world at the moment is a 5 MT warhead used on a variant of China's DF-5, one that isn't common and is slated to be retired soon. Opting for multiple lower-yield MIRVs has been the standard for decades. The average yield of a nuclear warhead today is about 443 kilotons.
GG (1 month ago)
Lol terrible advice. If a bomb goes off near me I ain't ducking for cover. I'll just shoot myself. Checkmate commies.
Olifffia (1 month ago)
I live between Russia and Germany... If the 3 witkd war will hit im pretty much screwed xD
TheEEStudent (1 month ago)
for a better guide, watch?v=6kOU0uusKPE (the whole series). They give plenty of solid tips.
Jeffman12 (1 month ago)
Should also mention how fallout manages to contaminate things, and why it's deadly. Fallout isn't just ambient radiation, it's irradiated particulate that emits ionizing radiation. If you get some in your food, it can wreak havoc on your internal organs, and is incredibly difficult to pass. Having sealed food sources and good hygiene are a must.
MOMO (1 month ago)
Skin Bear (1 month ago)
kilometers?! Where are you from? Ugh. :oP
AndyTom (1 month ago)
I live 10 min from one of the largest nuclear weapon storage and missile launch sites in the u.s. so I'd be screwed....
Sokratis Axis (1 month ago)
How to survive a nuclear attack: Be somewhere else...
Fox D (1 month ago)
The only radiation I'm worried about from Fallout is the visible-spectrum EM radiation from my laptop screen.
Michael Thompson (1 month ago)
"...too heavy for long-range missiles to carry." Sheesh SciShow please do -some- research? Sub-megaton nuclear devices are used for the sake of efficiency, not necessity. The LGM-25C Titan II warhead was 9 megatons, and "could eventually carry a warhead with a 35 megaton yield, based on projected improvements." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGM-25C_Titan_II
Matthew Waddington (1 month ago)
What a load of bollocks!
Emma SpAce (1 month ago)
'if there is a fallout comment-' there are many 'I can die happy'
Bailey Harrison (2 months ago)
Blast will be nothing compared to radiation in terms of death toll
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Blast usually accounts for more deaths than radiation.
LOW ENRGY (2 months ago)
"The odds are unlikely"....surre how do u know ??
Ivan Grigorevich Petrov (2 months ago)
I'm in Ottawa.........so.......it is VERY LIKELY I'll be vapourised.
S Fritzen (2 months ago)
dema (2 months ago)
damien bernier (2 months ago)
Step 1 Kiss palm of hand. Step 2 Make a slightly open fist so air can pass through the middle of your palm and curled fingers. Step 3 put mouth close to thumb side of fist so lips are in the opening of fist Step 4 Aim mouth and fist toward butt. Step 5 blow your ass a kiss goodbye.
Lamar Mccloud (2 months ago)
I want to marry you
Martyn Greener (2 months ago)
You can show me your ionizing radiation if you like... I'll supply the heat and shockwave. 😏💥💃🏻
DeepPastry (2 months ago)
That wasn't the best information. Devices delivered by ICBMs and CBMs are measured in kt; 300 kt to 500 kt max per device in the MRV package. but most "bombs" are measured in Mt; 1.5 Mt. That's just because the modern arsenal doesn't waste so much to empty air. Though the bunker buster nuke bomb is at 25 Mt. For much of the Cold War the average bombs were in the 10 Mt range, small ones in the 2.5 Mt, and big ones near 20 Mt. But we figured you could do more damage by using smaller yields on more bombs/devices using the same amount of material. Oh, and most of these are dial-a-yield variants, where smaller yield means way worse fallout, so you sort of prefer max yield just to keep it "clean" but sometimes it's nice having options.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Oh, yeah, the weapons in storage. My bad. I mean the US and China have probably less than 70 deployed total - I know this is true for the US, but for both countries, they're slated to be retired soon. Either way, that's not what they'd use to take out cities. The ballistic missile-mounted warheads would be doing that.
DeepPastry (1 month ago)
650 sounds like a number that is "more" than 70. And that is the number of 1.2 megaton weapons in the current active US Arsenal. I assume the Russians and the Chinese have equivalents.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
DeepPastry I wouldn't say many. Less than 70 worldwide, probably.
DeepPastry (1 month ago)
Almost no multi-megaton-class weapons exist, because it's pointless and a waste of resources. There are many 1 to 2 megaton devices, though they are dial-a-yield types. That's the size you want to take out fleets, and full sized cities.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Close. Almost no megaton-class weapons exist today. US has a couple that are awaiting retirement; China's in the same spot. Warheads atop ballistic missiles today, according to current arsenals, range anywhere from 100 kt to 800 kt. Most are on the lower end of the spectrum to around the middle. You've got the yield/fallout ratio backwards. Generally speaking, the higher the yield, the more fission has to be used, and thus "dirty" variants of thermonuclear weapons offer increased blast yield at the cost of more fallout as well.
Lucas T (2 months ago)
"the odds is very unlikely"?
Hamsamich Playz (2 months ago)
I really like her what’s her name, and put her in more vids pla
Leighton Winter (2 months ago)
What....... I cant use hair conditioner after a nuclear attack! Bummer
Whom here is a Cuck (2 months ago)
Damn that why I keep shooting myself when a flashbang grenade goes off I you don’t get it, I kill myself to avoid the pain later on
Shelby Longbottom (3 months ago)
You --> Fridge
kangourouuu1 (3 months ago)
How much time before the fallout? If you have just a few minutes, shelter is mandatory. But if you have 10-30 minutes, one could get the car, seal it as best as possible and try to "outrun" the very harmful first waves, couldn't they?
kangourouuu1 (1 month ago)
Well thank you kind sir. That may never be useful to me, but it's always pleasant to understand it a bit better.^^
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
It's pretty much the wind. The mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion can, depending on the yield, stretch to tens of thousands of feet, and far surpass even where commercial aircraft cruise at. At that height, high atmospheric winds carry the fallout very fast and very far.
kangourouuu1 (1 month ago)
Well, nobody ever told me that, neither when learning the basics nor when learning about more technical stuff. So that's freaking good to know.^^ Thank you. Secondary question then : why does it go that fast? Nobody ever told me about it, but it never naturally occurred to me either, so I'm missing something. Is wind *that* useful for fallout's propagation or is it simply "fast in the medium that is air", however that could make sense?
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Nah. Fallout travels extremely fast and for hundreds of miles. Cars offer virtually no protection against fallout particulates. Best to shelter in place.
Rakshasa (3 months ago)
Nuclear launch detected
vonpupees (3 months ago)
clearly duck and cover and your fine. saved you 6:30 no problem
Matthew McHenry (3 months ago)
Duck and cover; ensure you are fully able to experience the fallout and your agonizing demise.
crab_aesthetics (3 months ago)
Nukes are fake and basically you have autism.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Scott Borden (3 months ago)
Did you make this for Hawaiians?
Philipp Meyer (3 months ago)
Do it like me, live right between the two most important airforce bases in Europe and a shelter for nuclear bombs and be screwed instantly if war breaks out. YEAY!
David (3 months ago)
3:27 Replentishing? Pretty sure that's not a word.
Danika Fernandez (3 months ago)
Tornado sirens went off in my area a few days ago, and literally the only thing that came to mind when I heard them was, "Oh... I guess that means we're about to be nuked in a few seconds. Oh well. I figured it was going to happen anyway." Tornados weren't even a thought in my mind when I heard the sirens, because it was only breezy outside. I just kind of immediately accepted that my life and the lives of my cats, my fish, and my parents were going to end in just moments.
Anmol Rai (3 months ago)
Tell me how to survive in school
Littalwabbit (3 months ago)
Should I hide inside the refrigerator?
Benjamin Wessel (3 months ago)
Motoka Mitsuki (3 months ago)
This is pretty relevant in the past week
Math :v (3 months ago)
What a good moment to thrown up this topic into open air
John Willett (3 months ago)
It's foolish to think you can out right block gamma rays, you can reduce exposure, but that's it. The more material between you and the fallout/initial blast the better.
Jcewazhere (3 months ago)
So most if not all of the radiation is in the leftover bits of uranium that didn't undergo fission, and the fallout, not in the blast wave? In other words watching a nuke could blind you from the photons and cook you with the heat but not immediately kill you with radiation?
Bloo Jayy (3 months ago)
How to survive a nuclear attack: you don't. Put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Yes, survivors of the atomic bombings don't exist. It is impossible to be near a nuclear explosion and survive.
Okabe Rintarou (3 months ago)
You can survive a Nuclear attack by living in Wyoming,why would anyone ever even notice,nevertheless nuke that state?
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Because the US has many Minuteman III missile silos there. Expect a couple hundred warheads.
Brooklyn (3 months ago)
"The odds of you using this information are really low" *watching this on the verge of WW3*
just that guy (3 months ago)
Useful for the zombie apocalypse
ASMR ÍNdustries (3 months ago)
Where you in the film zodiac !?!??
Sleiman Mhanna (3 months ago)
LOL @ "replentishing" (3:28). #bringbackreplentishing
Djohle (3 months ago)
Olivia is so cute <3
Jeff Oliver (3 months ago)
Where are the shelters. There aren't any. So eat a bullet and save your self from an agonizing death.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Or just head in your basement for a couple weeks. But if you wanna be extreme, I mean, I guess.
niki123489 (3 months ago)
How to survive a solar flare hitting the Earth? I know it could stop the electricity for a few days or a week.
Shattared Entertainment (3 months ago)
Just because the risk is low doesn't make it any less scary.
Screaminguy (3 months ago)
i live near NORAD, so i think my chances are a bit higher than most of nukes :PP
DonaldJSlumped (3 months ago)
what if the bomb explodes above me
Here cause of the whole Syria bombing situation, anyone else?
TheIppus (3 months ago)
If you're the type of person who wants to be prepared for this but isn't willing (or doesn't have) thousands to spend on a purpose-built concrete shelter, you can build an expedient fallout shelter in about 48-72 hours of hard labor with a shovel, pick, a few interior doors, and some plastic sheeting/tarps. It'd be enough to protect you for a few days to a couple weeks, until the worst of the fallout has decayed. (Note that this is NOT a blast shelter - that's a little more specialized). The trick is having enough time to build it before the fallout arrives. http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p930.htm
TheIppus (3 months ago)
Also, if you want to see how various effects happen in your area, try this: http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/
TheIppus (3 months ago)
"The odds of a nuclear bomb hitting anywhere near you are very low." Thank you for starting with that. Most people don't realize that even in a WWIII doomsday exchange, the vast majority of people will survive the blasts themselves.
Girom Christian Calica (3 months ago)
When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven, and the seven angels before God were given seven trumpets. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and then an earthquake… And then I heard a great voice from the temple say to the angels, "Go your ways… and pour from the vials, the wrath of God upon the Earth."
George Smith (3 months ago)
Will you want to though? Personally I'd be up on the top my house hoping for the full blast., Better that, than live in post-nuclear apocalypse as one of the 99% that isn't fortunate enough to afford the correct sheltering.
Mansell5Senna8 (3 months ago)
Cool, only 2 days in the shelter before going out side again
gabl8a89 (3 months ago)
First, move to Australia.
Ramon Ortega de Voor (3 months ago)
boi if u see the flash its the last thing u see so dont look at that please
Jewish Person (3 months ago)
Most rural areas in the Western world are safe. It's the major cities they'd most likely nuke, NYC, DC, LA being that they're the most important, easily accessed on the coastal regions, and they're the biggest targets for this kind of attack. They're not bombing the likes of Oklahoma or Minnesota.
Brent Gauspohl (3 months ago)
"replentish"? Was "replenish" intended? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GnN3xLa0Js&feature=youtu.be&t=208
Wesley Smith (3 months ago)
Why you make these videos? Lol why would you want to survive? After the bombs earth will never support life again. So it’s very pointless trying to survive.
Wesley Smith (1 month ago)
Zane Shute You got to think it’s not just the bombs. But the aftermath!
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
Definitely human life. A global nuclear exchange would kill 100 million people, tops. A lot? Oh, yeah. But compared to 7.7 billion people...
Wesley Smith (1 month ago)
Zane Shute some life but not human.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
because that's not true
PatisserieBoy (3 months ago)
Alan Lee (3 months ago)
We're screwed. 😑
Goldenfall 3 (3 months ago)
Well we all know this world is going to hell . Better prepare sooner then later
Steve W (3 months ago)
friendly911 OS (3 months ago)
3:28 replentishing? lol
UnitZER0 (3 months ago)
Now we know, and knowing is half the battle.
Blah Blahsen (3 months ago)
what to do a nuke attack. step 1: cease to become alive. step 2: irrelevent
MrMegaPussyPlayer (3 months ago)
The best way to react to a nuclear attack is .... go as near as possible to the explosion ... if you turn into a shadow you have done everything right. (everything else is delaying the inevitable with the cost of immense suffering)
Scott Parker (3 months ago)
I understand that 'knowledge is half the battle' (pardon the pun), but some info on how utterly devastating any detonation of nuclear weapons would be could've helped round out this piece. I don't think we should be normalizing the idea of nuclear attack by pretending that we can somehow survive it in any meaningful fashion.
Zane Shute (1 month ago)
I mean, you can, so...
Dollar Travelers (3 months ago)
Great Video, Keep up the good work!
The Mute (3 months ago)
WOW, you're a different girl without the ring. In a very good way.
Uchiha Soles (3 months ago)
I live in a straw house, would I be safe?
Hex Isme (3 months ago)
Hair cells aren't dead skin. They're keratin, same as your nails.
Teri Yama (3 months ago)
After our ballistic false alarm in January, this is in the forefront of our minds here in Hawai'i
Mercy (3 months ago)
Her: but again the odds that this will happen are really low Me: yeahhhh not with North Korea around

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