The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has updated its Doomsday Clock, which indicates how close humanity is to a global catastrophe, according to the assessment of their member scientists. At just two-and-a-half minutes before midnight since early this year, the clock is now guaranteed to function when submerged in up to 1,500 feet of water. The modification will help the clock continue to symbolize the vulnerability of human civilization long after the physical location of the clock is swallowed by the sea.
The waterproofing is just one of many changes to the clock in recent years. “The clock is now enclosed in a lead-lined steel cask which in turn is encased in ferrous concrete” said scientist Robert Shine, who further added that the clock had been heat proofed to 50,000 degrees Kelvin and placed on a gyroscopic spring base for vibration minimization.
“We’ve got a radiation-hardened robot in there as well, in the unlikely event no humans are present at the location of the clock when we determine that the minute hand needs to be moved,” said Shine about the rover that can be operated from any subterranean bunker on Earth. “It can be controlled from near-Earth orbit, or potentially from any number of Earth-like planets in other solar systems, if it comes to that.”
Shine also stressed that similar efforts have been made to safeguard knowledge of the clock. “Our staff ethno-linguist created a series of prime-number-based explanatory pictograms in geologically stable bedrock throughout the world. This way, even if our descendants are illiterate, radioactive troglodytes—more monster than man—they will be able to adjust the clock to better reflect instability in their mole-men-like society,” said Shine.
Shine is confident that given the clock’s construction, it will continue to warn humanity of impending doom until and including the minute our sun expands into a red giant and consumes the Earth.