Boom! What was that giant explosion off the Florida coast? Here’s what we know

·2 min read

Boom! So, what the heck was that?

A massive explosion on Friday off Florida’s east coast was so intense that it registered a 3.9 in earthquake terms. But not to worry: It wasn’t an earthquake, some other natural disaster, or a noisy UFO.

All the commotion was for our national security, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

What the heck was that? South Florida residents just reported feeling a rumble

Apparently, America is getting a new aircraft carrier, and before it heads to battle it needs to get the kinks, if any, worked out.

The USS Gerald R. Ford was about 100 miles from Ponce Inlet in Volusia County when a 40,000 pound explosive went off right next to it. Video provided from the Navy on Twitter shows the ship, and then (wait for it), Boom! and a massive cloud balloon in the water.

Friday’s test was reportedly the first of several planned so-called Full Ship Shock Trials (FSSTs) in the coming months off the coast. Once passing several tests, the Gerald R. Ford — “the newest and most advanced aircraft carrier” in the Navy — can be deployed.

“The first-in-class aircraft carrier was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions, and these shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship,” according to the statement.

The Navy has not performed a test like this on a such a large scale aircraft carrier since 1987, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Forget about human ears. What about the poor fish?

The Navy says the tests are to be conducted within a “narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life in the test area.”

Friday was a busy day: The Navy also began bombing training in the Ocala National Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The event, which included setting off both live and inert bombs, lasted all weekend long.