Meet the Marten That Shut Down the Hadron Collider

You'll find him in Rotterdam's unique 'Dead Animal Tales' exhibit
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2017 9:31 AM CST
Museum's Animal Exhibit Is Unlike Any Other
Poor guy.   (Natural History Museum Rotterdam)

The Large Hadron Collider facilitated the discovery of the Higgs boson, but it's not yet immune to animal troubles. Following a similar incident last April, a stone marten jumped a fence at the $7 billion site in Switzerland on Nov. 20 and came into contact with a transformer, causing the LHC to lose power, reports NPR. "There must have been a big flame" because "every hair of this creature was kind of burned" and the feet and legs "were cooked," says Kees Moeliker. He should know. After making some calls, Moeliker, of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands, got his hands on the marten, had it stuffed, and put it on display in the museum's "Dead Animal Tales" exhibit, which shows how "animal and human life collide … with dramatic results."

"We want to show that no matter what we do to the environment, to the natural world, the impact of nature will always be there," Moeliker tells the Guardian. The marten—a member of the weasel family—is "a fine example" of that, he adds. Among the other animals on display: a sparrow killed after knocking over 23,000 dominoes meant to be part of a world record attempt, a seagull that died after colliding with an ambulance, a hedgehog that died with its head stuck in a McDonald's McFlurry cup, an armored catfish that got stuck in a man's throat, and pubic lice said to be endangered thanks to humans' sudden dislike of pubic hair. (Perhaps this squirrel would qualify for a place in the exhibit.)

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