TIL The Halifax Explosion was the largest man made explosion in recorded history up until that point. Explosives were measured in “Halifaxes” afterward. The first atomic explosion was 10 Halifaxes.

  1. The fact that the Halifax Explosion was even 1/10th as powerful as an atomic bomb is what I find most amazing.

  2. Supposedly the Beirut explosion two years ago was only 1/4 the strength of the Halifax explosion. Kind of puts it in perspective a little more.

  3. 1.2 kilotons. Mainly because there was actually 1.2 kilotons of tnt in the ship. (Or gunpowder. I also forget which, immediately.)

  4. It was also amplified by the blast reflecting off the bottom of the harbor, that's where they learned to detonate the bomb in the sky to maximize the effect.

  5. The really amazing thing was how small the mk1 and mk3 devices were in terms of yield, each only had a vield of a couple percent of their cores which was in the mk3 the size of a soft ball, both were put together with monkey wrenches and ducktape and were very much garage bombs the battery in the mark 3 ran out in around around 6 hours, and the sea urchin neutron initiator would have lasted a few days meaning the bomb had to be assembled immedietely before use, which was a process that took several hours to do, it did what it needed to do but it was outdated by the time is was used

  6. It also made possible many advancements in the treatment of eye injuries. I think the Boston Eye Institute sent everyone, students and teachers alike to help. There were so many injuries from flying glass that even students became field medics.

  7. I was on a military cadet exchange for our farewell dinner we were in this really nice navy building a few floors up in Halifax. they had a lot of info around the place and people who know about it. being able to see from one side of the town all the way to the other and thinking all that was destroyed was incredible.

  8. Vince Coleman, a train dispatcher there, saw the burning ship and called for all incoming trains to be halted. He had begun to flee when he saw the ship, but then remembered a passenger train was due to arrive shortly and returned to the station to warn them. His last telegram:

  9. A true hero. I wish he could know his name and story is still being talked about over 100 years later

  10. A railroad telegraph man saved a ton of people by telling trains to not come into Halifax. He died in the explosion.

  11. To give you an idea of the force of the blast, a part of the anchor from the Mont Blanc (the ship that exploded) landed about 4KM (2.5 miles give or take) away, where it still rests and can be visited today. Similarly with a 1,200 lbs canon, but on the other side of the harbor.

  12. I lived in Halifax for 5 years and never knew about the anchor. Just looked it up on a map and that’s insane that it flew that far.

  13. The city of Boston sent aid and helped rebuild after the explosion so Halifax sends Boston a big Xmas tree every season that goes on to the common.

  14. Boston sent a huge amount of building supplies to hell rebuild called hydrostone and there is still a large community in the north end of halifax completely made out of hydrostone. About 8 blocks of it since everything there was completely flattened

  15. I've been there and there are plaques about this. There's also pieces of chain and anchors and stuff that was launched very far away. It's surreal touching it, like you couldn't even make these pieces of metal budge if you used all your strength yet they ended up more than a kilometer away.

  16. Used to travel up to Halifax and Nova Scotia a lot for vacations and people absolutely lit up when we’d tell them we’re from MA. They’d talk about their relatives and how much they love people from MA, it was always so sweet of them.

  17. Kinda similar to how the Netherlands sends Canada 20,000 tulip bulbs every year for allowing the Dutch royal family refugee in world war 2, and the Canadian liberation of the Netherlands in world war 2

  18. Family trivia. My Grandfather arrived the day before the explosion. He survived it because he was in a basement bathroom when it hit.

  19. My great grandma was a waitress at a safe distance during the explosion and apparently a ton of people eating rushed to watch the fire and were hurt/killed because of it. Waitressing is why I’m here haha

  20. Behind The Scenes Trivia: The budget for that reenactment was triple the original projection due to all the scenery being relentlessly chewed by the mustache guy.

  21. A teacher of mine had a relative ( I believe it was his great-grandmother who lived to 106) who told him about how she felt her entire house shaking and she lived like 60km away. The magnitude of the Halifax Explosion was immense and but it still pales in comparison to the explosions that can be caused by the bombs we have today which is horrifying.

  22. For additional reference: the Halifax explosion was almost 10x as strong as the Beirut blast of 2020.

  23. For another reference: An artillery shell is around 5-10kg of TNT. A typical US airstrike or big missile like Russian Kalibr that half destroys a large concrete building is around 500kg of TNT.

  24. Woot! Halifax! Shock wave from the explosion put my great grandmother into labour all the way out in cape breton. Also there is a haunted church downtown where a young fireman's head was blown threw a window after being decapitated from the blast and when they replaced the window the shape of a human profile burned itself into the window which is there to this day, or at lest, last I checked. Sounds weird to say but when you see something everyday you tend to not notice it much after a while XD

  25. In Canada we had these commercials called "Heritage Moments", the government paid for them to be on the air all the time. Any Canadian who grew up in the 90s knows them by heart almost.

  26. Good video. Do you know video should be pronounced like rodeo? Except the first bit, with the letters V and I? That wasn't my first Vid-ay-oh.

  27. Not only was there a massive explosion, but following it was a 60ft tsunami laden with oil / fuel and a massive blizzard the next day.

  28. My great grandfather was on a ship in the harbor when the explosion happened, he made a hand written account of everything he saw. It is one of the most bone chilling things I’ve ever read.

  29. The mayor of Boston rushed medical personnel and supplies to Halifax as soon as he learned of the disaster. In gratitude, the people of Halifax still send a large tree every year that Boston puts up as its Christmas tree.

  30. Boston Eye Institute sent the teachers and students alike to help the injured. The information they came back with advanced the field by decades.

  31. This is like. The only part of Canadian history I actually know a lot about because my paternal grandmother lost her entire family and everyone she knew in that explosion when she was 6 years old, and it was genuinely a miracle that she managed to survive and the aftermath.

  32. Ah yes, the bi annual Halifax explosion post where us Nova Scotians get excited that the world acknowledges our existence.

  33. Then we return back to normal, where everyone thinks "Eastern Canada" stops at Quebec and then there's just vast nothingness into the horizon.

  34. Similarly, we often measure deadly tragedies in 9/11's. For example, the US recently hit 1,000,000 covid deaths. Washington Post reported, "The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out."

  35. Yet fools were willing to turn the whole world upside down to prevent another 9/11... largely understandable... but were the same people who couldn't be bothered wearing a mask to prevent spreading a disease that's killing hundreds of thousands of their countrymen. Shows you the power of how this information is framed.

  36. wasn't this the explosion that propelled an anchor in the air so far that it landed in a field several miles inland ?

  37. My grandfather was six at the time of the explosion and lived in the south end of Halifax. I asked him what it was like and all he would ever tell me is that it was loud. I think granddad saw some shit, but I was too clueless as a young lad to realize it.

  38. My children’s grandfather was a year or so old living downtown when the explosion happened. He was pretty badly scarred from broken glass. His father was working near the harbour and was killed. He was only identified because of the home made socks he wore. *Edited for grammar.

  39. For additional context, the height of the mushroom cloud from the Trinity test bomb reached approximately 67, 800 bananas high

  40. I like the joke but to clarify; the ship carrying explosives collided with another vessel in the harbour, causing the explosion.

  41. Depending on the explosives: not much. For TNT and C4 and some other's, this does not happen that easily. If you recall Ammonium Nitrate from the Beirut desaster a few years ago: some German company once used TNT(!) to blow a solidified heaps of the stuff into pieces; worked quite some time without incident, until the day it didn't (and thus that factory was turned into a crater).

  42. Naw that was the munitions factory explosion. Lol magazine Hill. My grandmother built artillery shit there when she was 14. Night gaurd flicked his smoke, not far away enough.

  43. I think the previous largest non nuclear explosion happened back in June of the same year. The mine explosion at Messines Ridge vaporized 10,000 German soldiers instantly and the explosion was heard as far away as Ireland.

  44. "The Curse of the Narrows" is an extraordinary book about the explosion, the aftermath, and the scientific medicine that emerged from it. Additionally, twelve years previously, the coast of Nova Scotia had rescued the survivors of the Titanic. Fantastic book.

  45. my daughter did a heritage fair project on the explosion and made it to nationals. that summer we went to the maritime museum in halifax (we’re from ontario) to continue her obsession.

  46. I’m reading this as I’m passing anchor drive Halifax in my Uber, where an anchor landed many miles away from where the explosion happened. It’s still there!

  47. So if it was the largest in recorded history then all things would be measured in fractions? Oh that’s 1/16 Halifax. 1/64 Halifax…etc. why make the base unit of measurement so high?

  48. Are you burning the giraffe, releasing only the energy trapped in chemical bonds? Are you splitting the atoms of the giraffe, releasing the nuclear (strong force) energy trapped in the atomic nuclei? Or are you splitting the individual protons and neutrons, releasing the strong force energy that holds the quarks together?

  49. The blast radius of the Halifax Explosion was ~2.6 km, so assuming a perfect circle, that's an area of 21.2 km2 . Wolfram Alpha says the area of an American football field is 0.005351 km2 , so somewhere around 3961.87628481 football fields (about 2969 if you meant a European football pitch instead).

  50. Bruh. The whole province has two major cities.. and they are directly next to eachother. They are the only place with a downtown city type area and you can walk across it in 2hrs. Max

  51. As a kid in Nova Scotia, we all read Hugh MacLennan's 'Barometer Rising" in grade school, a historical novel set in Halifax at the time of the explosion.

  52. Isn't this the one where people desperately grabbed French children to get the families to chase after them away from the harbour when they realised the families didn't understand their attempts at warnings?

  53. I grew up outside of halifax. There is a park and memorial site kilometers away from the explosion where one of the ship's anchors landed

  54. Happened around the time of a horribly cold winter too, a lot of people lost their homes in the blast and had no where to go

  55. Americans will measure with anything except the SI units. 'The sink hole was three refrigerators wide.'

  56. And now 100 years later we hold an annual music festival called the Halifax Pop Explosion! ...It took me years of attending it before I made the connection with the name lol.

  57. Am I the only ignorant motherfucker that first heard of this in Super Troopers 2? Rob Lowe's character explaining his hockey nickname...

  58. If anyone here is a fan of sea shanties, there's one called "Fire and flames" by the Longest Johns about this tragedy.

  59. We use kilotons now, and a Halifax is 1.2 kilotons as a conversion, but after the incident and before the US successfully detonated an atomic pile, the standard unit of measurement was indeed Halifaxes.

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