Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site



Marshall IslandsAsia and the PacificN11 35 60 E165 22 50201073,500130,425CulturalTo be an outstanding example of a type of building; architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human historyTo be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions; with ideas; or with beliefs; with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance1339http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1339In the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.World Heritage Site
CountryMarshall Islands
UNESCO RegionAsia and the Pacific
CoordinatesN11 35 60 E165 22 50
Inscription Date2010
Property (ha)73,500
Buffer Zone (ha)130,425
Type of HeritageCultural
CriteriaTo be an outstanding example of a type of building; architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history
CriteriaTo be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions; with ideas; or with beliefs; with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance
Unesco Reference Number1339
URLhttp://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1339
DescriptionIn the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
StatusWorld Heritage Site