Time capsules: what they contain, how they are installed and why

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News: Ahead of the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, claims and denials have emerged about plans by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to put in a time capsule.

Facts:

  • Time Capsule: It is a container of any size or shape which accommodates documents, photos and artefacts typical of the current era and is buried underground, for future generations to unearth.
  • How are Time Capsules made? It requires special engineering so that the contents don’t decay even if pulled out after a century.Material such as aluminium and stainless steel are used for the encasing and documents are often reproduced on acid-free paper.
  • Examples of Time Capsule: In 2017, a 400-year-old time capsule was found inside the statue of Jesus Christ in Burgos, Spain carrying economic, political and cultural information dating back to the year 1777.
  • Time Capsule in India: The time capsule was placed underground outside the Red Fort in 1972 by then PM Indira Gandhi.However,it was taken out by the subsequent government.

Additional Facts:

  • International Time Capsule Society(ITCS): It is based in the US and formed in 1990 to estimate the number of time capsules in the world.As per its database, there are 10,000-15,000 times capsules worldwide.