Society has been learning about a monumental project currently under way in West Texas to create a clock that will keep time for the next 10,000 years. The project is the idea of the Long Now Foundation, a US group dedicated to promoting the importance of long-term thinking for individuals, organisations, societies, and humankind as a whole. It is partly funded by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com.
Construction of the clock's home is currently taking place in the remote mountains of West Texas. The site selected is 200 miles from the nearest big city, several hours away from any airports, and almost 2,000 feet above the valley floor. The video above shows how they recently created the clock's 12½ foot diameter, 500 foot deep vertical shaft. The next major step will be cutting a spiral stairway into the shaft using a robotic saw.
Also carved into the mountain will be five room-sized chambers commemorating the clock's one year, ten year, 100 year, 1,000 year, and 10,000 year anniversaries. The one year anniversary chamber will contain an orrery that the clock will activate and run once a year. The 100, 1,000, and 10,000 year anniversary chambers will be left empty for future generations to fill.
The clock itself is being machined and assembled in California and Seattle. When completed it will be roughly 200 feet tall and power itself from vibrations in the earth, as well as changes in temperature. It has been designed with a chime generator that will create a different bell ringing sequence each day for its entire life-span.
An eight-foot-tall prototype of what the clock will look like currently resides in London's Science Museum.
Imagine a moving machine that could last longer than the current age of the Pyramids and the Parthenon... combined. That's quite an inspiring prompt for us all to think a little longer-term!