Category Archives: Horology

The “Time Eater”

The Corpus Clock is a large sculptural clock installed at street level on the outside of the Taylor Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England.

If it looks like a clock from a nightmare, it’s because the inventor meant it to be scary, emphasizing his idea of time as a constant pressure on human lives.

The Corpus Clock, which has been called “the strangest clock in the world,” was conceived, designed, and funded by inventor John C. Taylor, and theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking participated in its public unveiling.

The horological masterpiece features a time-devouring grasshopper, or what the inventor calls a “chronophage,” or “time eater”, at its top that crawls forward one second at a time. As it moves, the 60 slits cut into its face light up to show the time. It took a team of eight engineers and craftsman five years to mold the clock. It is expected to run another 25 years on its current electric motor.

“Conventional clocks with hands are boring,” Taylor says. “I wanted to make timekeeping interesting.”

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