MIT construction uncovers time capsule intended for 2957 A.D.

MIT made a fun announcement recently — during construction, a team happened across an object within the ground that looked out of place. Once it was removed, the institute's Office of Environmental Health and Safety evaluated the item and declared it safe, revealing what it is to the public: a time capsule from the mid-50s that isn't supposed to be opened until the year 2957. Unlike some time capsules buried during that time period, this one was well constructed and held up very well over the decades.

The time capsule was found during construction near the institute's building 26, and it turns out had originally been made and buried as part of the dedication ceremony for that building in 1957. The time capsule is one of two capsules described as "well-known" by the school, and it was both designed and constructed by popular professor Harold Edgerton.

One of the biggest issues concerning time capsules is the construction — unless done correctly, the materials will rot or otherwise become compromised over time, allowing moisture and more inside. Once that happens, the contents will become damaged or destroyed. This time capsule hasn't suffered from any of those issues due to the careful and skilled use of glass, which holds up well to the elements.

Most interesting is the very visible label within the glass; it reads, "Please Do Not Open Until 2957 A.D." — a full thousand years after its was buried. Visible within the jar is a newspaper and other papers, what appears to be a glass vial, possibly a folio and a beer mug, and more. Researchers say the construction would have enabled the capsule to survive a thousand years or more.

A letter within the capsule reads, in part:

We cannot guess what the next millennium holds for the world or whether you will regard our age as one of science. But we are confident that you will have a greater understanding of the Universe and that we will have made some contribution to that understanding. We wish you continued success in the pursuit of knowledge.

VIA: PopSci