A massive clock is currently being built inside a mountain in western Texas that's owned by Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.
It's been dubbed the 10,000 Year Clock and was designed to "foster long-term thinking in the context of the next 10,000 years," according to The Long Now Foundation, an organization working on the project.
The clock is the brainchild of inventor Danny Hillis, who first introduced the idea to the public in a 1995 Wired magazine essay.
"I want to build a clock that ticks once a year. The century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium. I want the cuckoo to come out every millennium for the next 10,000 years," Hillis is quoted saying on the organization's website.
And that's exactly what the 10,000 Year Clock was designed to do.
Installation has begun—500 ft tall, all mechanical, powered by day/night thermal cycles, synchronized at solar noon, a symbol for long-term thinking—the #10000YearClock is coming together thx to the genius of Danny Hillis, Zander Rose & the whole Clock team! Enjoy the video. pic.twitter.com/FYIyaUIbdJ— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 20, 2018
The hope is that the clock will be wound by people who are willing to take on a full day's hike to reach the clock's interior gears. If no one has visited a clock for several months, it will display the time when the gears were last turned.
"The clock calculates the correct time, but will only display the correct time if you wind up its display wheel," The Long Now Foundation's website explains.
So what keeps the clock going when no one visits? Well, it was designed to use thermal energy generated by the changes in temperature between day and night.
"As long as the sun shines and night comes, the clock can keep time itself, without human help," the organization's website explains. "But it can’t ring its chimes for long by itself, or show the time it knows, so it needs human visitors."
The clock's chimes have also been programmed so they won't repeat themselves for 10,000 years.
In a recent blog post, Bezos explained that there will be five chambers for the 1-, 10-, 100-, 1,000- and 10,000-year anniversaries. For the one year anniversary chamber, Bezos said they have already designed a special 8-foot tall planetary display.
The team that's working on the clock hasn't decided what to do for the 10-year anniversary chamber, but they're currently accepting ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for the 100-, 1,000- and 10,000-year anniversaries, Bezos said the plan is to leave those chambers for future generations to design.
There's no word on when the clock will be completed.
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