"Project Gasbuggy" Atomic Explosion Site
Dulce, New Mexico
By the late 1960s the U.S. government was anxious to find some use for its surplus of nuclear bombs. Its friends in the petroleum industry had the answer: explode them underground to release natural gas! It would be a lot faster and cheaper than drilling.
On December 10, 1967, that's what the U.S. government did. A 29-kiloton bomb was exploded almost a mile underground here, which knocked observers off of their feet over two miles away. The gas that was released was too radioactive to ever be used, and the ground was so contaminated that it had to be hauled away -- or most of it, anyway. Today, ground zero is marked by a plaque on a small concrete block in the middle of an otherwise peaceful field, and visitors are warned not to dig anywhere.