Stone Marten or Beech Marten (Martes foina), Normandy, France
Getty Images
By Olivia B. Waxman
April 29, 2016

A weasel-like animal shut down the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland, early Friday after weaseling into a transformer.

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider experienced a “severe electrical perturbation” that “damaged” transformer connections due to a “short circuit caused by fouine,” according to a briefing that the organization published. The French dictionary Larousse translates “fouine” as both a weasel and a beech marten.

A CERN spokesperson Arnaud Marsollier told NPR that such accidents can happen, given the facility is in the countryside.

As the organization’s own briefing joked, “Not the best week for LHC!”

 

 

Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

You May Like

EDIT POST