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Corpus Clock Eats Time

By Evan Ackerman

This monster of a clock is called the Corpus Clock. If it looks kinda freaky looking to you, that’s intentional: “It is terrifying, it is meant to be,” said John Taylor, the creator and funder of an extraordinary new clock to be unveiled tomorrow by Stephen Hawking at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. “Basically I view time as not on your side. He’ll eat up every minute of your life, and as soon as one has gone he’s salivating for the next.”

Just the sort of thing you want hanging in your house, right? The creature on the top is called a Chronophage, which is the evil version of a grasshopper escapement. Every hour, it “eats” up more time, blinks, and a symbolic piece of chain drops into a coffin below the clock.

The 1.8 million dollar clock took 7 years to construct and is the work of some 200 engineers, sculptors, scientists, jewelers and calligraphers. It should run for about 250 years. It has six patents, and is mechanical in nature despite seeming to briefly stop at times, and then run faster to catch up. And here’s the most incredible part: The rippling gold-plated dial was made by exploding a thin sheet of stainless steel onto a mould underwater: none of the team actually saw it happen because the only place in the world which could make it was a secret military research institute in Holland. That’s right: Holland has secret military research institutes.

The clock is currently in residence at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

VIA [ The Guardian ]