Blood On the Sand: Somali Pirates vs. Medellin Drug Cartel

June 8, 2010

Wassup!? A car tire and free blast software are being used in Deadliest Warrior tests, that's what's up.

Hit the link to download "real" software used for testing on the Deadliest Warrior. As for the tire, it blew off the rim and landed about one kilometer away after our car bomb test during the filming of this next match up: Medellin Cartel vs. Somali Pirate.  Two very different combatants, with the Cartel wanting to live the high-life and typically choosing fear-based tactics, up against poverty stricken men raised in violence who find out quickly that anything with a Kalashnikov action comes in handy when they decide that "yo ho, yo ho it's a pirate's life for us" (sung with a thick Somali accent).

The Warriors

Medellin Cartel: By definition a Cartel is an agreement between similar producing companies to fix prices. The Medellin Cartel was a system of drug suppliers that originated in Medellin, Columbia. The Cartel's enemy was the government so their tactic was to create terror within the population and carry out attacks against specific political targets.  For example, on December 6, 1989 the Administrative Department of Security building in downtown Bogotá was bombed with over 1,100 pounds of explosives. The attack killed over 50 and injured more than 600. The Medellin Cartel was so successful that it took direct involvement of US Delta Forces and the CIA to imprison or kill key Columbian targets.

Somali Pirate: The act of piracy is alive and well today and seems to be a difficult thing to stop even with direct involvement of intelligence agencies and elite forces. The average Somali income is believed to be about $700/yr, so having a large success rate of lucrative hijackings leads many young men highly motivated to join piracy groups. Most come from northeastern Somalia and are either local fishermen, with skill and knowledge of the sea, ex-military, or technical experts who operate specialized equipment. 

Car Bomb Test

As you can imagine it's difficult finding enough high explosives to recreate an actual Medellin car bomb in the State of California. So, we took the show on the road to the State of Nevada for this episode where you can pretty much do anything you want...like recreate a Medellin car bomb. You have to see this test to believe it, but we essentially cut a car in two with only a fraction of TNT the cartel actually used. Now, after you watch what happens to the car in Tuesday's match-up, imagine or calculate yourself with "real" Deadliest Warrior software what the 1,100 pounds of car bomb would have done.

Science of Explosions

Thankfully, scientists have been blowing things up for years. Measuring things like overpressure, shock front velocity, and types of injuries that occur at each level. Because of those measurements software exists so you can readily calculate many blast parameters by just knowing the type of explosive, amount of explosive, and the target standoff distance ("INPUTS" to calculations). Now, if you're super awesome...you know a little bit about how/when/at what level the body is injured at particular overpressures (e.g. 5 psi - ear drum rupture all the way up to about +100 psi that tends to rip limbs from the body and can be lethal).  If you're really interested in this stuff you can download my published blast article entitled Blast-Induced Neurotrauma: Surrogate Use, Loading Mechanisms, and Cellular Responses and play around with the "INPUTS" of this "real" software that have been used on Deadliest Warrior tests to see what kind of numbers 1,100 pounds of TNT would have generated.

Have fun!

--Geoff Desmoulin


Don't forget to check out Deadliest Warrior: The Game for exclusive previews and walk throughs of the game's development and what you can expect when it hits shelves July 15th

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