A half-mile below the surface of the New Mexico desert, the federal government is interring thousands of tons of monstrously dangerous leftovers from its nuclear weapons program –plutonium-infested clothing, tools and chemical sludge that will remain potentially lethal for thousands of years to come.
The berm will be implanted with magnets and radar reflectors to make it obvious that it’s not a natural formation. A structure in the center of the space and two subterranean rooms will hold detailed information on the facility, and hundreds of super-hard disks printed with pictographic danger signs will be scattered throughout its 120 acres.
“We looked at what messages had come from deep in time to the present, like the pyramids,” explains David B. Givens, an anthropologist specializing in non-verbal communication who helped conceive the warning system. “It boils down to stones,” he says — the only medium so far to have established a track record of retaining messages for as long as 5,000 years.
It’s kind of cool to imagine what sorts of creatures will come upon this monument in several millenia and what our world will look like then. It gets me thinking about our perspective of time; we tend to think of things as being non-transient since our life span is limited, but certainly, history shows that entire cities have been buried in natural catastrophes in the past. What will the world look like 5000 years from now when the unnatural signals emminated by this monument draws intelligent life towards it?
Pretty cool, huh?