It’s considered to be the most powerful machine in the world. Scientists in Switzerland used it to discover the Higgs-Boson, or “God-particle”, which makes up all atoms and subatomic particles. It has the power to create and destroy matter and form miniature black-holes, and it has just been shut down — by a weasel.
It is the Large Hadron Collider. It seems the weasel got into the electrical circuit, knocking out power and shutting down the machine. Unfortunately it was electrocuted in the process and did not survive. It is thought to have chewed into one of the electrical cables.
It’s remains were so badly charred that scientists were not even certain what type of animal it was. A spokesperson for CERN, the European organization for nuclear research in charge of the Large Hadron Collider, told the media that it was, “a weasel, probably.”
But an updated report from CERN speculated that it may have been a marten, another rodent similar to a weasel. Perhaps this will be the next great scientific debate?
Weasel or not, at least it did not get into the machine itself. Otherwise it may have been swallowed up by one of the collider’s miniature black holes.
The repairs to the electrical grid are expected to take several days. Until then, the machine is out of commission. Even after power is restored, it is expected to take another week to get the machine up and running again.
The shutdown has delayed some particle experiments that were due to be conducted over the weekend. They have now been pushed back several weeks.
This is not the first time the Large Hadron Collider, which some fear could destroy the entire solar system by creating a new black hole in the galaxy, has been stopped by a small animal.
In 2009, the electrical grid was knocked out by a bird, at least that is what scientists believe. A baguette was found jamming part of the grid. Scientists believe it was dropped by a bird flying overhead.
Yes, you read that right. A bird once dropped a baguette into the electrical circuit, shutting down the machine.
But don’t worry, the world’s most powerful machine will soon be up and running again. Nothing can stop the world’s top scientists from making more mind blowing science breakthroughs. Expect maybe another small animal.
Featured image via Video