Photos of the Aftermath of a Nevada A-Bomb Test

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At the peak of the Cold War, the United States started detonating atomic bombs in the Nevada desert. Fake homes were built and mannequins were positioned to test what kind of destruction the bombs would cause. The particular test pictured below took place in 1955. It was nothing new—many tests happened before and continued after this one. The mundanity of the event in retrospect is extremely unnerving. LIFE provided us with a look into the aftermath.

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Mannequins were arranged near the blast. They were used to see how deadly the blast was from different areas and distances. The mannequin pictured above had a scorched suit, but was determined to still be "alive."

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This mannequin was not so lucky. The pseudo-man was positioned 5500 feet from the blast. He is draped over a burnt couch and presumed dead. His arm seems to have been detached from his body.

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A huge collection of cans is spilled across the kitchen floor. Other bits of wreckage are scattered in the surrounding area.

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A wide shot of one of the most devastated houses. You can see men coming to start clearing the debris.

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