October 30, 1961: Tsar Bomba (Царь-бомба) is detonated.
The magnum opus of the Soviet Union atomic bomb project, Tsar Bomba (or “Big Ivan”, as it was also called) was a hydrogen bomb with a yield of 50 megatons (according to some sources, nearly 60)- it securely holds the title of the largest nuclear weapon ever constructed.
The explosion was enormous and spectacular, releasing the power of nearly 4000 “Little Boy” Hiroshima atomic bombs; the heat released by the blast was capable of inducing third-degree burns 100 km away, and the flash of light caused by it was visible from 1,000 km.
The ”King of Bombs” destroyed everything within 25 km of ground zero, but even buildings hundreds of kilometers away were severely damaged. According to a spectator, the explosion “seemed to suck the whole earth into it.”