A clock which has no hands or numbers and "eats time" has gone on display.
The Midsummer Chronophage is inspired by the idea that everyone experiences time differently.
Dr John C Taylor designed the timepiece, which is controlled by a Chronophage – a mythical beast which eats time. It sits on top of the clock face and slowly opens its jaws for 59 seconds before snapping shut on the 60th and eating the minute.
The accurate time is displayed every five minutes through light slits which replace the traditional hands and numbers. The hour is struck by the sound of a chain hitting off a small wooden coffin to remind us our time on earth is limited.
The unique clock took more than two years to make and involved over 100 people including artists, engineers, scientists, jewellers and calligraphers.
It went on display at the National Museum of Scotland on Thursday.
Dr Taylor said: "It takes a dyslexic inventor to produce a clock without hands that also plays games with you. Once you have seen the Chronophage all other clocks will seem rather boring – all they do is tell the time. This one surprises you, sometimes stopping, running fast or backwards as it tells relative time and yet still managing to be accurate to within 100th of a second on every fifth minute.
"The Chronophage is a unique blend of art and science, and each one is completely unique, with a different mythical creature eating away time. I’m grateful to National Museums of Scotland for the opportunity to exhibit the Midsummer Chronophage in one of the most amazing public spaces in Scotland."
Dr Gordon Rintoul, the museum director, said: "I am delighted to have this spectacular timepiece on loan. The Chronophage is a beautiful and amazing work of engineering, and is certain to generate a huge amount of public interest."
Dr Taylor is an inventor who is best known for the kettle safety switch which turns off a kettle once it has boiled.
The clock will be on display until January 2013.
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