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The relentless predator that is time can be measured in an almost infinite variety of ways, from binary code to grains of sand to numbers and letters, but Germany’s Mengenlehreuhr claims to be the first timepiece that measures our slow journey through this life in nothing more than colors, light, and set theory.

Designed like a retro-futuristic conversation piece, the clock was first installed in Berlin in 1975, commissioned by the Berlin senate and designed by inventor Dieter Binninger. The retro-futuristic timepiece consists of 24 lights that blink on and off in patterns that measure a 24-hour cycle for those who can decipher the code. Some of the lights represent five hour units, while others represent one hour units, and still others denote minutes and seconds. If added correctly, one can decipher the time. 


About the source: Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura aims 'to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share'. You can contribute to their collection on their website.

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