The 10,000 Year Clock, a project of the Long Now Foundation, is precisely what it sounds like. This clock, a monumental structure being installed inside of a mountain in Texas, is designed to tick for 10 millennia with chimes that will ring in unrepeated patterns for all those thousand years. Now, after nearly two decades of planning and construction, it’s being installed. Jeff Bezos, who is helping to fund the project, tweeted out some footage of the process.
Dreamt up by computer scientist Danny Hill, the 200 foot tall clock is powered by an enormous weight that will allow it to tick through hundreds of centuries without the need for any human intervention. That, in combination with components made with marine grade 316 stainless steel and engineering tolerances in fractions of an inch to allow for corrosion and other unavoidable weathering over the years.
Bezos—the richest person in history depending on whether or not you consider inflation—had no involvement in the clock’s design but is a primary funder, having kicked in some $42 million. It’s a fraction of a single percent of his $120 billion fortune that, applied differently, could almost single-handedly solve the water crisis in Flint or at least provide raises to hundreds of Amazon employees who rely on food stamps to make ends meet.
No completion date has been announced for the gargantuan clock which will be open to the public on completion, though the visit will require a substantial hike. One there, visitors would be able to visit one of many chambers, including special areas with mechanisms to celebrate the clock’s yearly, 10-year, 100-year, 1,000-year, and 10,000-year anniversaries. That is, if anyone is even around to see those last few.