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A closeup of the fireball and mushroom cloud from the Upshot-Knothole Grable atomic bomb.

mushroom cloud (plural mushroom clouds)

  1. A large cloud of smoke, flame and debris that rises into the sky as a result of a large explosion, especially after a nuclear explosion, characterized by a long shaft rising from the ground into a much larger or more spread out top, reminiscent of a mushroom in shape.