You can never really be prepared for anything. Rain on your wedding day, the computer unexpectedly shuts off just as you’re finishing your big essay to graduate, a fouine chews on a cable of the Large Hadron Collider and shuts it off, and you get a splinter in your hand as you build yourself a brand new table.
Wait, that second one can’t happen right? Well it did.
For those not in know, the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is a breakthrough in science. It’s a 17-mile long superconducting machine that smashes protons and other sub-atomic particles together at the speed of light. It’s quite a remarkable thing, so imagine the shock of all those involved with it when a small animal managed to chew right through a power cable, shutting down the $7 billion machine. You’d think that thing would have some sturdy cables.
Engineers investigated to find out why it had gone offline overnight on April 28th. It was first reported that a weasel had chewed through it, but further investigation showed that it was indeed a fouine that had done the deed.
Its not all fun and giggles as it has thus been shut down completely. While only taking a few days to repair, for a full smash to happen again might take until mid-May for the collider to perform.
Sadly this isn’t the first time the Large Hadron Collider has had a snafu. Back in 2009, a bird supposedly dropped a baguette onto some of its electrical systems.