The Large Hadron

Meme of the Week: The Large Hadron Collider

See some of the most notable examples of parodies and jokes surrounding the Large Hadron Collider, a currently hot—if mystifying—topic.

Famously dubbed "the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator," the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the quest for the Higgs Boson particle have been a popular subject of news-media coverage and online curiosity since its launch in September 2008. Perhaps due to the mission's highly complex nature that is incomprehensible to most of us outside the scientific community, the LHC project has been dubiously portrayed in pop culture as a potential trigger of a man-made apocalypse, which inevitably led to lulzy Photoshop parodies and gag sites speculating on the impending arrival of a tiny black hole on Earth—a hypothetical disaster also known as "division by zero."

Almost four years later, the much anticipated announcement of Higgs Boson’s discovery earlier this week was met with varying online reactions. For the most part, people seemed to be coping with their inability to understand its actual significance, followed by a slew of YouTube videos trying to explain the theoretical concept in as plain-spoken English as possible. Meanwhile, Redditers criticized the rampant use of the buzzword "God particle" in the news headlines, while Twitter users zeroed in on the CERN physicists' ill-advised choice of MS Comic Sans as the typeface for their historically monumental presentation. Check out the slideshow for some of the most notable examples of parodies and jokes surrounding the Large Hadron Collider.

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Ever since the project began, the Large Hadron Collider has raised concerns. Will it be the end of life on Earth as we know it? The running joke about doomsday scenarios emerged during the construction phase in early 2008, when skeptical scientists raised safety concerns surrounding high-velocity particle collision, to which other scientists rebutted that it was it was "very unlikely" the LHC would destroy the world. In the words of Lloyd Christmas, "So you're telling me there's a chance!" 

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Since the LHC was such an expensive and potentially unproductive endeavor, naturally sociopolitical commentary cropped up regarding its validity and worth. Luckily, not everything was serious business, and people explored the lulz with fake webcams and prophesied outcomes depicting the probable end-of-world. If you're curious to find out if these concerns were ever realized, there's a site for that: Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet? It is updated in real time.

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The plot of the videogame Half-Life involves a theoretical physicist named Gordon Freeman accidentally opening a wormhole to an alien dimension. With the release of this actual CERN photo, and the apparent identification of Gordon "IRL," is there any doubt that this game was really a warning of the dangers to come?

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Nothing cements "news" like an old-fashioned setup and punch line. I hope we find the graviton particle next, because we've got a ton of "Yo Mama" jokes ready.

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No one was more up in arms than the Twitterverse when the presentation was revealed to be typed in ... Comic Sans. The default font of the computer illiterate seemed to have no place in such an important scientific discovery, but maybe the universe has some typeface tricks up its sleeve we have yet to uncover.

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Still don't quite understand how exactly the Higgs boson was discovered? The ever-informative Cereal Guy breaks it down quite nicely.

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