The ‘time-eater’ of Cambridge

It’s ugly and rather disturbing but very intriguing and I did spend a long time staring at it. The Corpus clock at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge is surely not your regular time piece.

There is a beast sitting on the clock’s gold plated dial that devours time. With its long needle teeth and barbed tail it rocks back and forth, ultimately inserting its talons in notches at the top of the clock to move it forward. Halfway through the minute its jaws begin to open, snapping shut at 59 seconds. “Time is gone, he’s eaten it,” says John Taylor, its creator. This part-lizard, part-stag beetle creature is a Chronophage – the time eater.

“Time is not on your side. He’ll eat up every minute of your life, and as soon as one has gone he’s salivating for the next. ” And to rub this in further, for tolling every hour, the clock clanks of a chain that falls into a coffin, which then loudly bangs closed. “The sound was to remind me of my mortality.”

Can you tell the time when this pic was taken from this clock?358



320from King’s Parade: the Taylor Library and the Corpus Clock on the northwest corner of Corpus Christi College.


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