Time capsule sealed in unorthodox fashion at CDU

Time capsule
International House Darwin guest services officer Swapna Bupathi displays some of the items that have been placed in the new time capsule

A time capsule featuring relics from the year 2020 – including a face mask and toilet roll – was sealed in unorthodox fashion at Charles Darwin University (CDU) this week.

Instead of traditionally being buried underground, the stainless-steel capsule was sealed and inserted into a boulder aboveground at CDU’s International House Darwin (IHD) in a bid to combat the ravages of Darwin’s wet season.

The capsule was also argon-charged, a process which removes the air and leaves a completely inert atmosphere in which mould cannot survive and oxidation within the capsule is not possible.

The modern ‘weather-proof’ time capsule concept comes after a 25-year-old time capsule was dug up at CDU last year but contained only one recognisable item – a polo shirt – after the PVC container holding the contents sprung a leak.

CDU Student Accommodation manager Dr Philip Mosely said the new time capsule would be opened in another 25 years.

“The capsule container has been specially built from stainless steel, to ensure its contents are securely preserved,” he said.

“It will be located above ground in a weather-proof setting and will only be opened in 2045.”

Items in the time capsule include several reminders of the challenging year that was 2020 including a face mask and miniature toilet roll to symbolise the “hysteria and panic buying” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other items include a CDU polo shirt signed by IHD residents, a Top End Wedding movie DVD, a credit card and a USB drive with pictures and videos.

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