So, Jeff Bezos has some time and money on his hands now, turning over the reigns as CEO of Amazon to Andy Jassy.
He’s got plenty of interests and hobbies.
- Saving the planet
- Traveling the world with his girlfriend
- Flying into space
- Buying cool stuff, like his new $500 million yacht, and maybe someday an NFL franchise
He’s also got another interesting project he’s working on that is buried in a mountain in West Texas, located seven hours by car from the nearest airport, and 2,000 feet above ground.
Bezos has commissioned a project called the “Clock of the Long Now,” which is essentially a 10,000 year clock that has cost $42 million so far and is many, many years away from completion.
What? Why? How?
Yeah, all good questions.
The idea for the clock came from a literal genius named Danny Hills. He’s an entrepreneur and computer scientist who came up with the concept for the 10,000 year clock 35 years ago.
Currently, he’s a visiting professor at MIT Media Lab, but his background is distinct, fascinating and accomplished. He’s built supercomputers and rides you’ve probably been on at Disneyland.
Bezos is of course funding the deal, and an army of contractors, engineers and workers are bringing away, building this clock that will be 500 feet tall. It is all mechanical, and according to a tweet Bezos sent out it will be powered by day/night thermal cycles and synchronized at solar noon.
The first story about this collaboration between Bezos and Hills was in Wired Magazine back in 2011. It reports that Bezos and Hills begin talking about this project and making the plans to build this clock on property Bezos owns in the Sierra Diablo Mountain Range way back in 2005.
The clock is designed so it will tick just one time per year. Demolition professionals are blasting out chunks of the mountain so they can install the huge gears and flywheels needed.
There aren’t a lot of bells ad whistles for this clock: It tick just one time per year, and will make a chime sound one time per millennium.
So put that in your calendar in case you are alive 979 years from now.