News & Events

An Earth black box will be built to record our self-destruction

We had it coming.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Feb 18, 2022

On Earth, a black box will soon be recording our self-destruction. An unbreakable “black box” will be built in Australia early next year to record civilization’s self-destruction. The indestructible monolith will gather data on our progress toward climatic catastrophe—in the hopes of helping future civilizations from repeating our mistakes. So, essentially, it’ll be collecting data on the collapse of our current civilization, in order to assist future ones.


According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the recorder will function similarly to a black box on a plane. It will collect two types of data: “Measurements of land and sea temperatures, ocean acidification, atmospheric CO2, species extinction, and land-use changes, as well as human population, military spending, and energy consumption,” as well as “contextual data,” such as newspaper headlines, social media posts, and key takeaways from climate events, such as COP.


The solar-powered gadget, predicted to be the size of a bus, will be stocked with storage drives and have an internet connection, with batteries providing backup power. It will be built on rural terrain in Tasmania. The box, which is made of steel and granite, is said to be indestructible and capable of storing over half a century’s worth of data.


Jim Curtis, a co-creator of the project shared: “The idea is if the Earth does crash as a result of climate change, this indestructible recording device will be there for whoever’s left to learn from that. It’s also there to hold leaders to account – to make sure their action or inaction is recorded.” Curtis collaborated with Clemenger BBDO, a marketing communications firm that is developing the non-commercial black box with the University of Tasmania and the Glue Society. The makers themselves are unable to predict what will happen if civilization collapses and the box is discovered by someone from the future.


They continued to share:


“It’s impossible to anticipate who or what will find it […] But it can be assumed that it will not be of any use unless it is discovered by someone or something… with the capability of understanding and interpreting basic symbolism […] We are exploring the possibility of including an electronic reader that stays within the box and will be activated upon exposure to sunlight, also reactivating the box if it has entered a long-term dormant state as a result of catastrophe.”


The box is already recording, but it won’t be operational until next year. Those interested in monitoring its data bank will be able to do so online once it is launched. Visitors to the monolith will supposedly be able to connect to it wirelessly, even though this hasn’t been confirmed by the developers yet.


You can read more about Earth’s black box here. In other news, online passport renewal is coming soon.


Photo source: Earth’s Black Box