Is it just me, or is the test footage of the military's new electromagnetic railgun incredibly scary? The Naval super weapon has been in the works since 2005, but testing was limited to experimental lab models up until this point. Now that we have visual evidence of what this thing can really do ... well, I'm fairly terrified.
Because what it can really, really do is pretty terrifying: It can fire a 40-pound metal slug up to 5,600 miles per hour from New York to Philadelphia -- that's over 7 times the speed of sound. The force at which it hits a target is apparently 32 times the force of a "1-ton car being thrust at 100 mph."
Look, I'm not disputing the incredible technical achievement this signifies. I'm not even going to get into the astronomical price tag on this project (so far, $240 million) or whether developing a weapon worthy of a sci-fi flick is really necessary or justifiable.
I'm just going to say that this video of the electromagnetic railgun in action chills me to the bone. And I've felt that same sense of cold dread before.
Once upon a time, nuclear weapons were in the developmental phase, too. Have you ever seen footage of an atomic bomb test? Yes, it's amazing that human beings figured out a way to harness that much power. Have you ever seen what that power can do to human beings? Chernobyl. Hiroshima.
Devastation doesn't begin to cover it.
Watch this clip of the electromagnetic railgun being tested ...
Now watch this declassified U.S. Nuclear Test film from the 1960s (the atomic bomb footage starts at around 9:42, but the entire video is a pretty fascinating history lesson):
It just makes me wonder what good can ever come from creating a weapon of mass destruction.
Do you see the similarities between these two videos? What do you think about the new electromagnetic railgun?
Image via usnavyresearch/YouTube