A century ago today, the first shots of WWI were fired. It was the first modern conflict, fought with fatally efficient technology. Even today, crews must safely destroy bombs left untouched for a century. Erik Olsen travelled with one of those crews for The New York Times, bringing us a video glimpse at the delicate task of cleaning up history.
There's something morbidly fascinating about the thought of so many bombs surviving untouched for a hundred years. The war ended, and Europe settled into an uneasy peace, only to do it all over again on an even more destructive scale. These bombs are the historical finding of modern archaeology, but these decaying weapons can't be saved for posterity.
So they get taken out to a field and detonated. Fulfilling their long-held promise of powerful destruction, a century after the conflict that necessitated their existence. [The New York Times]