Supported by

The Atlantic Selects

The Clock Designed to Tick for 10,000 Years

Nov 19, 2015 | 831 videos
Video by Public Record

The idea to build a clock that will keep time for ten millennia was conceived by Danny Hillis in 1986. Since then, he and his team of inventors, futurists, and engineers have been building The 10,000 Year Clock—a huge monolith being constructed in a mountain in West Texas. "I want to build a clock that ticks once a year. The century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium," Hillis is quoted on the clock's website. "I want the cuckoo to come out every millennium for the next 10,000 years." In this documentary by Public Record, we get a portrait of Hillis and his crew as they work on a singularly huge project. The directors, Jimmy Goldblum and Adam Weber, have just released their first feature, Tomorrow We Disappear.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to

Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.