Nuclear weapons made from guinea pigs: Is there any truth to this?
Whether we like them or not, most people see guinea pigs as cute, small, fluffy mammals, which kids usually take care as pets. However, there are reports circulating online saying that these tiny creatures are made into weapons of mass destruction. Is there any truth to such claims?
Why does it have to be guinea pigs? And can this type of weapon wipe out the existence of guinea pigs, worst, our own existence?
The truth is that guinea pigs, along with rats, mice, hamsters, rabbits, cats, and dogs, have been part of atomic studies that aim to improve the well-being of the human race. But as nuclear weapons?
No, there is no such thing as deadly bombs made from these cute, tiny animals.
Cute, cuddly, peaceful guinea pig – they do not exist in the wild anymore.
March is Adopt-a-rescued-guinea-pig month.
However, animals and humans [pdf] have been used as guinea pigs – in the metaphoric sense of being test subjects – in experiments conducted to discover the harmful effects of radiation or to locate its path through the human body.
The worst part of it was that, in the early days of nuclear research, the tests were done without letting their subjects know of the dangers of the experiment.
The Nuclear Guinea Pigs
The use of nuclear guinea pigs was highly evident during the cold war. The United States of America made hundreds of nuclear experiments around the 1940s to 1960s, and these events have been compiled in the report called “American Nuclear Guinea Pigs: Three Decades of Radiation Experiments on U.S. Citizen“. One of the most well-known test sites was Nevada where the citizens were allegedly used as nuclear guinea pigs.
The nuclear tests were deemed important for the sake of national security, but the airburst produced dangerous and toxic radioactive fallout. Officials thought that the particles would only be restrained within the test site’s 125-mile (201 km) radius, but it was later reported that winds blew the fallout further across the United States.
The radioactive fallout affected many U.S. citizens, as well as thousands of soldiers who were administered with unsafe doses of radiation for the nuclear studies. As such, the public’s demand of ending the nuclear tests grew stronger and more persistent. This led to the ratification of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in August 1963. The U.S., Great Britain, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) formally signed the agreement to stop the nuclear weapon testings.
According to CTBTO (Commission for comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization), the Soviet Union carried out 715 tests from 1949 until their last test in 1990. The United States carried out 1,032 nuclear tests from 1945 until the last test in 1992. The United Kingdom carried out 45 tests between 1952 and 1991. France carried out 210 tests between 1960 and 1996. China carried out 45 tests between 1964 and 1996.
India carried out nuclear tests in 1994 and Pakistan in 1998. North Korea has been conducting nuclear weapons tests since 2006, with a total of 5 tests by 2016.
Graph via Wikipedia – Nuclear weapons testing.
One might only wonder how many animals and humans became nuclear guinea pigs during these troubled times.
The Terrible Effects
If today, guinea pigs are beloved pets, then nuclear guinea pigs back then were only used and abused. Many were either imprisoned, dying, or ignorant individuals who underwent a test without even knowing what the consequences might be. Many servicemen were used as nuclear pigs. Even pilots and their staff were ordered to go into the nuclear mushroom clouds, while other soldiers directly went to the blast site.
Troops participated in nuclear testing with little or no protective clothing – CTBTO.
A lot of men who had gone to the areas revealed that they were able to notice their bones when radioactive flashes moved through them. Many soldiers who survived the war and the nuclear tests suffered from different health conditions like cancer and severe body pains. Further studies also showed that 20% of these veterans had children with birth defects and others suffered from fatal diseases as well.
Today, there are more than 23,000 nuclear weapons ready for firing. There even have been nuclear weapons lost at sea.
The danger of a new nuclear arms race is ever-present. In 2017, North Korea threatened with per-emptive nuclear attack. The atomic test site in Nevada is ready for new testings whenever the President decides to resume the nuclear experiments. But if it’s going to take place (hopefully not!), it is possible that the citizens might become nuclear pigs again unless they become aware of what’s going on around them.
Article by Mary Alusin.