The Creepy Corpus Clock

I heard about this clock a while back but it’s too peculiar not to bring up. This clock resides in front of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England.

corpus_clock

The centerpiece of this creation is a heart-stopping, wretched insect that sits atop the time piece. It has a decidedly demonic grasshopper-like constitution and is called a chronophage. (This is derived from Greek apparently, with chrono referring to time (think about the word chronological) and phage which means to eat or consume, so literally a “time-eater”. John C. Taylor, the man who envisioned and funded the creation of the clock, appears to view  the clock as a statement on the cruel and fleeting nature of time.

The mechanics of the timepiece are nothing short of  curious. The primary mechanical feature of the clock is a structure called a grasshopper escapement which serves the purpose of converting the motion of a pendulum into rotational movement. There are LED lights that run the circumference and the clock on occasion appears to run more slowly or rapidly but still manages to keep time. There is a video showing how the clock works:

The fantastic nature of the clock has led to much conjecture about its nature and purpose and  has even become the focus of conspiracy theorists.

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