A joint venture between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the Long Now Foundation will make it possible to install a gigantic clock that will run and chime for the next 10,000 years deep inside the mountain ranges of Texas.
The project named '10,000 Year Clock' was first envisioned by Danny Hillis in 1989, and now it has become a reality when Long Now foundation and Bezos joined hands with him. The planning and construction of the clock began two decades ago.
Hillis first visualized it."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," he wrote in 1995.
He was soon joined by other enthusiasts including Bezos and the first 8-foot-tall prototype was finished on New Year's Eve 1999 to welcome the new millennium at the stroke of midnight of the year 2000, in front of a small crowd in the Presidio, San Francisco. It is now on display at the London Science Museum.
A clock made for centuries
On February 20, 2018, Jeff Bezos through his official Twitter handle revealed that the installation of this gigantic clock in a Texas mountain has begun. He also posted a footage on his Twitter page that shows mechanical parts of the clock being put together.
The clock will run for 10,000 years using solar energy, and there is no human intervention required to operate it. This device, designed by Danny Hillis, will also ring out chimes once in every thousand years.
"The father of the Clock is Danny Hillis. He's been thinking about and working on the Clock since 1989. He wanted to build a Clock that ticks once a year, where the century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium. The vision was, and still is, to build a Clock that will keep time for the next 10,000 years," wrote Jeff Bezos in a blog post.
According to reports, Jeff Bezos has poured in a whopping $42 million for the project.
Long Now Foundation, on its website, said that they have not set an opening date for the clock's running, but the assembly has started.
All you need to know about the 10,000-year clock
The 10,000-year clock is 500 feet tall, and most of its part will be buried inside a mountain. The clock which will work mechanically using solar energy. The clock is entirely made up of Marine grade 316 stainless steel, titanium and dry ceramic bearings, and considering the durability of these materials, the device is expected to run with minimal deterioration for 10,000 years.
Long Now Foundation decided to use ceramic bearings after understanding that ceramics last longer than metals, and they do not need lubrication for its functioning.
The organizations involved in the construction of the Clock include Applied Minds, that is owned by Danny Hillis and leading the design, the Long Now Foundation, a non-profit foundation that was established to foster long-term thinking, Penguin Automated Systems, that has provided guidance on the underground site development, Swaggart Brothers, focusing on the construction aspects, Seattle Solstice, who are masters of custom-design stone objects, and Machinists, who are into metal fabrication to supply Clock parts.
Once the clock is developed completely, visitors will be allowed to see it firsthand and several of the clock's mechanisms from designated viewing areas which will be built close to the structure.