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Jeff Bezos has spent $42,000,000 on building huge clock that will outlast human civilization

Callum Jones

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Jeff Bezos has spent $42,000,000 on building huge clock that will outlast human civilization

Featured Image Credit: X/@JeffBezos

Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people on the planet, with 99 percent of us not even being able to imagine the amount of dollar in his bank account.

Of course, forming and owning one of the biggest companies in the world - Amazon - is going to bring a fair few zeros at the end of the bank statements.

Bezos certainly has lot of money to play with, and when you have so much sitting in your bank account, what are you supposed to do with it?

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Build a giant clock that's going to outlast human civilization, of course.

Jeff Bezos has spent $42 million on the clock. Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Jeff Bezos has spent $42 million on the clock. Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage

Back in 2018, it was announced Bezos had invested in a project that would see a giant 10,000-year clock inside a mountain in West Texas - a clock that has set Bezos back $42 million by the way.

The whole goal of building the clock is so it can run for 10 millennia and be powered by Earth's thermal cycles.

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Construction on the clock has since started and remains ongoing, but once work has been completed, it will stand at 500 feet (152 meters).

"The Clock is hundreds of feet tall, engineered to require minimal maintenance, and powered by mechanical energy harvested from sunlight as well as the people that visit it," the clock's official website states.

It adds: "The Clock will mark time with astronomic and calendric displays and a chime generator designed with the help of Brian Eno that can produce over 3.5 million unique bell chime sequences — one for every day the Clock is visited for the next 10,000 years."

Whlile Bezos may be fitting the bill, the idea for the clock actually stemmed from a man named Danny Hillis, who proposed the idea as a way to think about the long-term future of humanity and the planet as a whole.

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The clock is currently under construction. Credit: The Long Now Foundation
The clock is currently under construction. Credit: The Long Now Foundation

That idea then turned into the Clock of the Long Now, a project by the Long Now Foundation, a company Hillis co-founded.

He went on to build an actual, working version of the proposed clock, with Bezos going one step further by building the clock to full scale.

Hillis is still very much involved, designing the clock from top to bottom.

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Considering the amount of work being put in for this clock to become reality, it will only tick once a year and chime once per millennium.

But the clock does have a very important purpose.

"Why would anyone build a Clock inside a mountain with the hope that it will ring for 10,000 years?" the clock's website asks.

"Part of the answer: 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?"

Topics: News, Amazon, Jeff Bezos, US News, Weird, Money, Business

Callum Jones
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