You instantly recognize what a bomb looks like: a bowling ball with a fuse attached. We saw Wile E. Coyote blow himself up numerous times that way. You may recall the funniest scene ever from the Batman TV series movie, pictured above. And if that picture ever came up on your computer with a “fatal error” message, you got an instant stomach ache. But bombs don’t look like that. At least they don’t now. The popular image goes way back, way before Looney Tunes. Atlas Obscura traces the bomb shape in popular culture back to the beginning, to see how that image became a universal symbol for a bomb.
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