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US reportedly tested secret 'tsunami bomb' off New Zealand coast

tsunami waves.jpg

May 25, 2001: A giant wave lashes a popular promenade in Bombay, India.AP Photo/Sherwin Crasto

Newly uncovered research reveals the United States and New Zealand tested a "tsunami bomb" during World War II, the Telegraph reports.

The bomb reportedly uses underwater blasts to trigger massive tidal waves designed to destroy coastal cities.

'Presumably if the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people.'

- New Zealand author and filmmaker Ray Waru

New Zealand author and filmmaker Ray Waru uncovered the top secret operation, dubbed "Project Seal," while researching military files buried in the national archives, according to the Telegraph.

"Presumably if the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people," said Waru.

Tests revealed that a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami wave capable of flooding a small city, the Telegraph reports. 

The project reportedly was launched in 1944 after a U.S. naval officer noticed the large waves often produced by blasting operations to clear coral reefs in the Pacific.

While initial testing was positive, Waru says the project was shelved in 1945. Experts concluded a successful tsunami bomb would require more than four million pounds of explosives arranged in a line about five miles from the shore, according to the Telegraph.

"If you put it in a James Bond movie it would be viewed as fantasy, but it was a real thing," said Waru.

Click for more from The Telegraph.