Between 1945 and 1962, the U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests. They used multiple cameras to capture footage of each event – at around 2,400 frames per second.
In the decades since, around 10,000 of these films sat around gathering dust in high-security vaults across the country. The film material itself was slowly decomposing.
For the past six years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a team of experts have been working hard to restore the data those films contain. They've been hunting down, scanning, reanalyzing, and declassifying the decomposing films.
To date, the team has released nearly 300 videos – all of which can be viewed on their YouTube playlist.
In the following video, Spriggs explains the project: