Kuna: The Pine Marten That Broke The Large Hadron Collider
Martens and weasels get a pretty bad rep, but few have done as much damage as Kuna who managed to close down the entire LHC operation in November in an event known as Weasel CERN 2.
*Note: the featured image is not Kuna. Kuna died in a pretty traumatic event but he will go on dispaly in the Rotterdam Museum of Natural History
Weasel CERN 2 sounds like a low budget horror flick or an outrageous monster story but the reality is far less scary, unless you happened to be Kuna, the Marten who scaled a fence and jumped onto ultra-high voltage transformer at the CERN research center. The unfortunate Marten, incorrectly identified as a weasel, managed to shut down operations at the LHC for some time and the event was even given a name: Weasel CERN 2.
An investigation was conducted and Rotterdam biologist, Kees Moeliker, was called in from the Rotterdam Museum of Natural History. Moeliker runs an exhibit that is cheerfully named “Stories of dead animals” and checked out the culprit and the story. Deciding that the corpse of the show-stopper was worthy of his grim collection, Kees added Kuna to the museum and he can be seen on display now. Other animals include a stuffed bird that was shot because it interrupted a world record domino attempt and a dead duck that became the first known victim of homosexual necrophilia when another male duck decided to have its way with the corpse.
“It’s a fine example of what the exhibition is all about. It shows that animal and human life collide more and more, with dramatic results for both. 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. We try to put a magnifying glass on some fine examples. This poor creature literally collided with the largest machine in the world, where physicists collide particles every day. It’s poetic, in my opinion, what happened there.” – Kees Moeliker, director of the museum.