An Apple engineer has recreated the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient Greek computer built to predict astronomical events, entirely out of Lego.
The gear-driven Antikythera Mechanism is thought to have been built around 150 to 100 BC. It was discovered in late 1900 amongst a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera and was originally thought to be some form of clock, and although its true purpose has since been divined, research on the device is still ongoing. It is the only machine of its kind that has ever been discovered.
And while experts from around the world study this “analog computer” at its home in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the rest of the world can now come to appreciate its intricate beauty a little more thanks to the efforts of Andrew Carol, an Apple software engineer who recreated the device out of Lego. 1500 pieces of Lego Technic, to be specific, assembled into four interlocking gearboxes that perform a precise series of calculations to predict solar eclipses.
There’s no substitute for the real deal, especially when the real deal is two thousand years old, but this is an amazing, almost magical piece of work in its own right. Is there anything Lego can’t do?