Space & Innovation

$7 Billion Large Hadron Collider Shut Down by Weasel

Mankind’s biggest ever platform for scientific discovery goes offline when Mother Nature intervenes.

Photo Credit: CERN

Mankind's biggest ever platform for scientific discovery was brought to its knees by a weasel.

NPR reports that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the famous 17-mile-long particle accelerator in Switzerland, dropped offline yesterday when electrical problems began to present themselves.

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The likely cause of the outage was small, furry and, sadly, no longer with us.

"We are pretty sure this was caused by a small animal," a press officer for the LHC told NPR. "A weasel, probably."

Indeed, the remains of a fried animal were found on the grounds outside the LHC, close to a cable that had been gnawed through.

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The LHC's job is to smash high-energy particle beams into each other at near the speed of light, attempting to help scientists figure out some of the most vexing questions in physics.

According to NPR, the machine - the world's largest, costing some $7 billion to build - was just gearing up for a new round of study on the Higgs Boson, the formerly elusive particle found by the LHC in 2012.

Operation of the LHC will now be set back for up to two weeks, officials said.