Its name evokes beautiful women in tiny bathing suits on a tropical paradise in the water, and its location mirrors the sentiment. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Bikini Atoll is a Micronesian Island chain located about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, and is what should be a heavenly place on Earth. However, its residents were forcibly relocated when the United States took possession of the islands in , and over the next 12 years, the US sent 23 nuclear bombs raining down on this slice of paradise, rendering it uninhabitable to this day. From the air, Bikini is pristine and beautiful. The plant life has regrown unchecked since the explosions and is lush and green.
The atoll's inhabitants were relocated in , after which the islands and lagoon were the site of 23 nuclear tests by the United States until Three families were resettled on Bikini island in , totaling about residents. But scientists found dangerously high levels of strontium in well water in May , and the residents were carrying abnormally high concentrations of caesium in their bodies. They were removed in The atoll is occasionally visited today by divers and a few scientists, and is occupied by a handful of caretakers. The island's English name is derived from the German colonial name Bikini given to the atoll when it was part of German New Guinea. Bikini islanders' traditional lifestyle was based on cultivating plants and eating shellfish and fish.
70 Years Later, Bikini Atoll May Still Be Too Radioactive For Resettlement
The nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll program was a series of 23 nuclear weapons detonated by the United States between and at seven test sites on the reef itself, on the sea, in the air, and underwater. The United States was engaged in a Cold War nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union to build more advanced bombs from until The second was Baker and was suspended under a barge. It produced a large Wilson cloud and contaminated all of the target ships.
The Bikini Atoll is the marker of where Bikini Bottom is located. It first appears in the episode " Home Sweet Pineapple. It is a sand island in the middle of the ocean. Its most notable landmarks are the three trees that inhabit one side of the island.