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Mystery Photo


This month’s mystery photo from Skeptic magazine. Any ideas?

They’ll reveal the answer here next Wednesday.

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  1. Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh March 30, 2011

    Something naval …

    Device for viewing under the ship?

  2. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin March 30, 2011

    it’s one of them microscopes fer seeing very small things, but designed so one of Mr Morou’s lobster/men hybreds can use it (eyes on stalks either side of their head….).  The clock is fer timing photographic plates, an has to be a 24 hour one, cus it’s dark in the box an you might need VERY long exposures….

  3. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse March 30, 2011

    it appears to me that there is some form of anachronistic computational access device resting on a blue mat to the left.  Therefore I believe that it is one of Mr. Babbage and Miss Ada Lovelace’s prototypical computing machines.  Those tubes are not lenses but handles as the device surely rocks and hums as it gets up to speed. (it could also be a time machine)

  4. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk March 30, 2011


    telescope observatory?

  5. Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate March 31, 2011

    Okay I have no idea, but Tenk’s right: the background appears to be an observatory. And those tubes have 45 degree mirrors at the joints like periscopes, which means you look down into them. So what do you keep in an observatory but look *down* into? Something that looks at light that’s processed/refracted/filtered/different wavelengths (which might be what the buttons on the console do)? Could it be an early radiotelescope? 

  6. Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate April 7, 2011

    According to SKEPTIC magazine: “The solution to the Mystery Photo from March 30 is the helm of the 100-inch telescope atop Mt. Wilson, the Hooker instrument through which Hubble (the man, not the telescope!) solved the mystery of the “island universes” (were those fuzzy patches of light in the sky nebulae within the Milky Way or were they “island universes” in and of themselves), along with the expanding universe and other remarkable discoveries that expanded our visage of the cosmos. You can see the 100-inch Hooker’s blue base in the background, and in the foreground you can see a mouse pad and a mouse, part of the upgrade on the instruments used to run this magnificent piece of technology today.”

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