Time Capsules: Buried Reminders for Future Discovery
Time Capsules are snapshots of days gone by.
Most time capsules are collections of items that are buried underground, likely in a container to protect the contents, with instructions to open the time capsule on a certain date. Common intervals are anniversaries like 50 years or 100 years. (Some extreme examples project far into the future.)
Time capsules can be personal or general, tiny or gigantic. They are limited only by the imagination of the people who create them. They can also be variable in their durability, depending on the care taken in preparing the capsule (not to mention the material used). Many time capsules are not retrieved because people move on or just forget about them.
One of the earliest known time capsules is the Crypt of Civilization, a sealed airtight stone chamber at Oglethorpe University, in Brookhaven, Ga. The brainchild of Thornwell Jacobs, the Crypt was sealed in 1936 and is intended to be opened in the year 8113.
The interior of the chamber is intended to look like a room in an Egyptian pyramid. Items stored in the Crypt are sealed in airtight receptacles, lined with glass and filled with an inert gas.
Oglethorpe University is also home to the International Time Capsule Society, which aims to have a complete record of all known time capsules.
Among the publicized physically buried time capsules are these:
The desire to preserve things and thoughts has reached the virtual world as well. Online sites designed to help people create a digital time capsule are widespread.