Amazon founder Jeff Bezos just revealed the video of a giant 10,000-year clock that is being built inside a mountain in West Texas.
The clock stands 500 feet tall and is powered by the Earth's thermal cycles, Bezos said in a tweet on Tuesday.
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
"It's a special Clock, designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking. Visiting the Clock will take a commitment. The nearest airport is several hours away by car, and the foot trail to the Clock is rugged, rising almost 2,000 feet above the valley floor." Bezos also said in a website for the clock.
The clock has been worked on for nearly 30 years and ticks only once a year. The century hand moves forward once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium.
"It's a special Clock, designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking."
There will be five room-sized anniversary chambers carved into the mountain, the website says. These are for 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.” the website says.
The project was started by American inventor Danny Hillis in 1989. Bezos has been helping Danny with the project for the last six years.
"Building a Clock inside a remote mountain is a big task. Construction is under way, and we're making progress every day," Bezos said.
The Amazon CEO has invested $42 million in the project and the clock is designed to run for 10 millennia. Danny Hillis originally proposed a 10,000-year clock in 1995 as a way of thinking about the future of humanity and the planet. This idea grew into the Clock of the Long Now, which was a project by the Long Now Foundation.
Hillis then went on to co-build an actual, working version of the proposed clock. The group has until now built a couple of prototypes, but Bezos’ clock will be the first to function on a full scale.
The team has spent the last few years machining the clock’s parts and drilling through the mountain to be able to store the components. Installation of the machinery has begun on the 500-foot-tall mechanism, Bezos announced yesterday.
Bezos intends to use the hollowed-out mountain for a spaceport for his company Blue Origin.