Bikini, As We Know It, Turns 55 (VIDEO)

Keeping with our Style-themed rapture coverage (also see: pre-apocalypse "Would You Wear It?"), happy 55th anniversary of that one time America dropped a hydrogen bomb over Namu island, part of the Bikini Atoll!

So, that's not actually the fashion-related bit, but here it is -- Gizmodo reminds us that May 1946 was also when French car engineer Louis Réard created his two-piece bathing suit. Quoth Jesus Diaz:

Réard named his invention the bikini because of the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests. He thought that everyone would be shocked by the risqué display of curves and belly buttons. He was right. During many years, the bikini caused more surprise than any of the nuclear tests conducted by the United States and the Soviet Union. The joke at the time was that that the "bikini" split the "atom", because it was introduced right after a tiny single-piece bathing suit called the Atome.

Yuk, yuk. Of course, Réard isn't responsible for the swimwear's first formulation. That would be grace à the Greco-Romans or even some artists in the Chalcolithic era circa 5600 BC, depending upon whom you ask.