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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Self-destruct is a mechanism that can causes a device to destroy itself under a predefined set of circumstances. The self-destruct mechanism is usually the most complete way to destroy the device containing it. For that reason the self-destruct mechanism can be used to destroy devices that are meant to be discarded.

Use in fiction

Self-destruct mechanisms are a frequently-seen plot device in science fiction stories (such as those in the Star Trek fictional universe). Self-destructs in fiction have been seen on military installations, spaceships, and in an artificial intelligence, destroying itself due to cognitive dissonance. In many such stories, after a time limit is reached, a large explosion will occur, destroying everything around the site. This is a well-used method of creating tension as the characters would have a limited (usually short) amount of time to escape or to disable the self-destruct.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Self-destruct" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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