The US used this cartoon turtle to prepare kids for nuclear war

Bert the Turtle was created in 1951 by the U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration to teach young children how to prepare for a nuclear blast.

The cute little turtle was designed to make the frightening prospect of nuclear war more bearable.

Bert the Turtle gets a lot of flak today for supporting tactics that seem flimsy, like telling people to hide under a picnic blanket when the flash from a nuclear detonation reached them:

Duck-and-cover-bert-turtle-picnic

GIF: youtube/nuclear vault

But surprisingly small things have been shown to reduce damage in a nuclear blast. The military found that white paint reduced damage to structures and began repainting nuclear bombers. A survivor of the Hiroshima bomb reported that wearing two pairs of pants saved her legs from radiation while her torso was severely burned.

So maybe the turtle was on to something, even if this is a very optimistic depiction of what it would look like when civil defense workers came to rescue you after a blast:

Bert-turtle-civil-defense-rescue

GIF: youtube/nuclear vault

No fire, no panic, and the bike is still in working order, eh, Bert?

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