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Bikini Atoll and its inner lagoon is the only location in the world where you can dive at wrecks sank by nuclear bombs.

Name Dive Site:Bikini Atoll
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Bikini Atoll has only been opened for scuba diving since 1996, allowing scuba enthusiasts to finally explore its rich waters and many WWII wrecks. Just after World War II, when the Americans controlled the Marshall Islands, they used Bikini Lagoon as a test site for their nuclear bombs in Operation Crossroads. The first test named Able and Baker was to take a look at the effects radiation would have on a fleet of ships. They located some of the most significant WWII ships, placed radiation recording devices, and set test animals such as rats and goats at their correct places. When they detonated the bomb just above the lagoon, all wrecks and animal life was successfully terminated. A terrible and tragic event if you think of it, but at the time, just after the second world war, necessary to explore defense strategies.

An interesting fact is that the bikini, today known as a popular tiny swimsuit, was named by fashion designer Louis Reard after this beautiful coral atoll.

Because of its rich WWII history and many important naval vessels that were sunk, it is today one of the most popular locations in the Marshall Islands. Its shallow lagoon is littered with submarines, destroyers, huge battle ships and small amphibious landing utilities, all ready to be explored. In fact, Bikini Atoll is the only location in the world where you can dive at shipwrecks that went down by nuclear bombs. Radiation is virtually absent now, or at least reduced to levels where it can't do any harm to humans. Famous shipwrecks include the 300 meter long aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and the HIJMS Nagato from where admiral Yamamoto ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor. There are 9 wrecks in total all only dived by advanced divers that are known to wreck diving and deep diving. Its marine life is untouched with plenty of pelagic and coral reef fish. It is one of the most stunning spots in the world, both in historic value as in underwater beauty.

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