Construction Underway on 10,000 Year Clock
February 21, 2018
Conceived in 1989 by Danny Hillis, a polymath inventor, computer engineer, and designer – the idea for the 10,000 year clock was first published in Wired in 1995.
At the time, many people thought Hillis’ idea was crazy but more almost three decades later the full-scale 10,000 Year Clock is finally coming to fruition.
With the help of Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, $42 million has been invested to make the project a reality.
Construction of the 10,000 Year Clock is currently underway in a remote West Texas mountain, along with huge clock parts being machined offsite. Getting to the clock requires a lot of effort as the nearest airport is several hours away by car, and the trip to the mountain requires a long hike over rugged terrain.
Designed as a symbol for long-term thinking, the mechanical Clock mechanism will be 200 feet tall, and its chime generator creates a different bell ringing sequence each day for 10,000 years.
“Carved into the mountain are five room-sized anniversary chambers: 1 year, 10 year, 100 year, 1,000 year, and 10,000 year anniversaries. The one year anniversary chamber is a special orrery. In addition to the planets and the Earth’s moon, it includes the interplanetary probes launched during the 20th century. The Clock will activate and run the orrery once a year on a pre-determined date at solar noon. We aren’t planning to build the animations for the 100, 1,000, and 10,000 year anniversary chambers, but will instead leave those to future generations. We are providing a mechanical interface into those chambers that provide those future builders with power and the correct Clock triggering events. We do intend to build the animation for the 10 year anniversary chamber but haven’t decided what it will be yet,” according to the official website.
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