The Slatest

One Lone Weasel Grinds the World’s Most Powerful Particle Collider to a Halt

The Large Hadron Collider in its full glory.

Richard Juilliart/AFP/Getty Images

The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is humanity’s most powerful scientific instrument. It cost $7 billion to build, comprises a 17-mile track wherein protons are smashed together at near-light speeds, and will soon be used to probe the elusive Higgs boson particle in an effort to help us better understand the physical nature of our universe. A weasel is a tiny, inquisitive-looking mammal that often weighs less than a pound. And yet Thursday night, it was a weasel that triumphed over the Large Hadron Collider.


In a David-versus-Goliath–esque feat, the devious creature gnawed through a power cable, electrocuted itself, and managed to temporarily take the collider down with it, reports NPR.

(The collider should be up and running by mid-May.)

Do weasels hate scientific inquiry? It would appear so. These killing machines would even kill machines to make their point known, it seems. This unprovoked suicide attack was clearly a warning to all humans of the dire consequences that await them should they continue down this precarious path of interrogating the universe’s mysteries.

Worse, weasels may be part of a larger alliance of animals banded together against technology, the scope of which we cannot yet fathom. “There have been previous incidents, including one in 2009, when a bird is believed to dropped a baguette onto critical electrical systems,” according to NPR. The bird’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

A motive has not been ascertained in this latest attack, but it’s suspected that weaselkind may be retaliating after years of having their species unfairly employed as synonym for a distrustful scoundrel. In that case, watch out: The rat bastards may be next.