This is what happens when you ask a question then completely regret it when you get the answer. Out of a morbid sense of curiosity, I decided to research what would happen if nuclear weapons were airburst over the biggest cities in Missouri. The result is the ultimate horror story.

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Just so you know, I'm not playing with classified information. I used the US government's own radiation emergencies guide and Nuke Map which is a public domain tool created by Alex Wellerstein.

Here is what I plugged into the simulator. I chose the B-83 which is the largest nuke in the American arsenal measuring a whopping 1.2 kilotons. Yikes. I chose an airburst because why not? If we're gonna be dramatic, let's make it full tilt.

Let's begin on the western side of Missouri with Kansas City. Brace yourself. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6....

Infographic, Nuke Map
Infographic, Nuke Map
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The mushroom cloud would tower over Kansas City proper 12 miles high and 18 miles wide. Everything within the center circle would be vaporized in seconds. The orange radius would include massive fatalities and injuries. To survive in that area would likely be worse than being killed instantly.

Depending on wind speed and direction, the central and southern parts of Missouri would likely be in trouble, too. The effect just wouldn't be as immediate with fallout blanketing Columbia and Jefferson City eventually.

Now, it's St. Louis' turn. Lookout Gateway Arch.

Infographic, Nuke Map
Infographic, Nuke Map
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An airburst over downtown St. Louis would annihilate just about every iconic part of the city. Busch Stadium, Gateway Arch...the St. Louis Zoo gone in a blinding flash. There would be no more crime in East St. Louis either as it would cease to exist. Devastation would be nearly complete as far west as Clayton and University City.

Central Missouri, I haven't forgotten you either. Let's look at Columbia.

Infographic, Nuke Map
Infographic, Nuke Map
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So many terrible results of this (which I understand is a gross understatement). Mizzou? Goners. But, look at the heart of Columbia which is I-70 going straight through it. This would effectively eliminate east-to-west travel on the interstate for years. The fireball would extend nearly to the Missouri River to the south.

What about southwestern Missouri? Hello, Springfield.

Infographic, Nuke Map
Infographic, Nuke Map
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One unfortunate result of a Springfield attack would be not just the middle of the city glowing in the dark, but Mercy Hospital being taken out in the immediate fireball. The lakes in the northern part of Springfield would be vaporized also. Sad.

It's easy to do simulations like this and forget about how truly horrific a real event would be. My intention isn't to trivialize a somber topic, but to make it real and show how devastating any kind of nuclear weapon would be in our backyard.

See Inside an Exotic Doomsday Bunker Available Under Missouri

Gallery Credit: 20th Century Castles/Missile Bases.com

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