A Tiny Weasel Shut Down the Entire Large Hadron Collider

This is not the first time the LHC has been shut down at the paws of an animal kingdom dead set on keeping us from dipping into the infinite well of understanding.

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30 April 2016, 12:00am

Image via Wikicommons and Flickr user devopstom

Image via Wikicommons and Flickr user devopstom

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The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a 17 mile-long, $7 billion superconducting machine in Switzerland designed to smash protons together at the speed of light. It is the world's most powerful scientific instrument. Right now, though, it's offline—shut down for a couple of weeks thanks to a goddamn weasel, NPR reports.


Apparently the little guy chewed through a power cable, and engineers investigating the cause of the shutdown found the weasel's charred remains.

"We had electrical problems, and we are pretty sure this was caused by a small animal, a weasel, probably," Arnaud Marsollier, head of press for CERN—the organization that runs the machine—told NPR.

The shutdown comes at an inopportune time for CERN and the LHC, which was preparing to collect new information on the Higgs-Boson, a fundamental particle which very well could unlock new knowledge in quantum mechanics and even what we know about the laws of gravity.

This is not the first time the LHC has been shut down at the hands of an animal kingdom dead set on keeping us from dipping into the infinite well of understanding. In 2009, a bird shorted critical LHC electric systems with a baguette.