The installation of Jeff Bezos’ 10,000-year clock has begun, a project in which the Amazon CEO has invested $42 million, as well as a hollowed-out mountain in Texas that Bezos intends to use for a Blue Origin spaceport, with the goal of building a mechanical clock that will run for 10 millennia.
The idea for the Clock of the Long comes from Danny Hillis, who proposed a 10,000-year clock in 1986 as a way to think about humanity’s and the planet’s long-term future. The Long Now Foundation project, which Hillis is co-founding, is an authentic, working version of the proposed clock.
The team built a few prototypes, but Bezos’ clock will be the first to work on a larger scale. The team has been machining clock parts and drilling holes through the mountain to store them for the past few years. The installation of the machinery on the 500-foot-tall mechanism has officially begun, according to Bezos.
The clock is set to chime once every millennium and tick once each year. Although it appears to be a lot of work for such a small amount of activity, the clock is essential.
“Why would anyone build a Clock inside a mountain with the hope that it will ring for 10,000 years?” the clock’s official website inquires.
“Just so people will ask this question, and having asked it, prompt themselves to conjure with notions of generations and millennia. If you have a Clock ticking for 10,000 years, what kinds of generational-scale questions and projects will it suggest? If a Clock can keep going for ten millennia, shouldn’t we make sure our civilization does as well?” the website answered.
The mighty clock will have five ‘room-sized anniversary chambers’ for the 1 year, 10 years, 100 years, 1,000 years, and 10,000 year anniversaries of its completion. The first-anniversary chamber would include a model of the planets and the Earth’s moon, while the other anniversary chambers would be built by future generations.
According to the website for Bezos’ 10,000-year clock, visitors will be able to see the finished timepiece, though the journey will be difficult. “The nearest airport is several hours away by car,” as well as a rugged foot trail that rises nearly 2,000 feet above the valley floor.