This incredible timelapse video shows the magnitude of nuclear weapons tests throughout the world 1945-1998. It begins slowly, with the American strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which effectively ended World War II). Until October 1949, America was the only country in the world with nuclear technology, with the Soviet Union joining the arms race. In 1952 the United Kingdom performed its first nuclear test (by this time America had already exploded 32 nuclear weapons).
By the mid 1950s nuclear tests were occuring with alarming regularity, and by the end of the decade, the USA had exploded 196, the Soviet Union 83 and the UK 21. France joined the nuclear club in 1960, with 3 tests that year.
Throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, nuclear tests were undertaken with alarming regularity. However, in the 1990s things slowed down. The last nuclear test was by France in 1998. In total there have been 2053 nuclear weapons exploded.