A city official photographed a tsunami breeching a sea barrier on March 11, 2011, sending water into the Japanese city of Miyako. The Telegraph newspaper reports that the U.S. and New Zealand tested a 'tsunami bomb' during World War II.(Photo: Toru Yamanaka, AFP/Getty Images)
During World War II, the United States and New Zealand tested a "tsunami bomb" that could potentially create a 33-foot wave capable of inundating a small city, The Telegraph reports.
British newspaper says the tests involved a series of 10 large offshore
blasts. The top-secret operation, called Project Seal, involved around
3,700 bombs that were detonated first in New Caledonia and later at
Whangaparaoa Peninsula, near Auckland.
The Telegraph says
details of the project were discovered in military files in the national
archives by Ray Waru, a New Zealand author and filmmaker.
found that the project was begun in June 1944 after a U.S.naval officer
noted the power of large waves created by explosions used to clear coral
reefs around Pacific islands.
Waru, who writes about the project in his new book Secrets and Treasures,
says the tests were positive, but the project was shelved in early
1945, although New Zealand continued to produce reports on the
experiments into the 1950s.
The Telegraph says experts
concluded that a successful tsunami bomb would require about a million
pounds of explosives arrayed in a line about five miles from shore.