A rare, one-of-a-kind photograph has been discovered in the Japanese city of Hiroshima that reveals the mushroom cloud from the World War II atomic bomb in two parts. The black and white picture clearly shows the cloud, an iconic image of the era, but with one part above the other, distinctly separated. A curator from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum explains its significance in that the shot has always known to exist, but this is the first time a print has been found.
The picture is believed to have been taken around 30 minutes after the bomb was dropped on August 6th, 1945, roughly six miles to the east of ground zero. It was discovered among other various articles about the WWII atomic bombing now owned by Hiroshima city’s Honkawa Elementary School. The memorial museum adds that a photo showing the world-recognized mushroom cloud split in two has long been talked about in history books.
The most often seen picture of the bomb’s immediate aftermath were taken by U.S. military planes in the air at the time. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, nicknamed “Little Boy,” was carried by the U.S. aircraft known as Enola Gay, and is estimated to have taken 140,000 lives. Three days later, on August 9th, the second atomic bomb, “Fat Man,” was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing another 70,000 people, and finally bringing an end to WWII.
While of a completely different nature and topic, another rare and valuable historic document was found in Japan recently. The Tokyo National Museum has come across a Tang Dynasty era copy of calligraphy by Wang Xizhi, a Chinese artist recognized for developing the writing form.[via The Telegraph]