The True Origin of CERN

During my fascinating visit to CERN to see the Large Hadron Collider yesterday it occurred to me that many of my readers might be unaware of the true historical origin of that organization. I have to say the general misunderstanding of the background to CERN is not helped by the information produced locally which insists that CERN is an acronym for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire and that it came into being in the 1950s. This is false.

CERN is in fact named after the Dorset village of Cerne Abbas, most famous for a prehistoric hill figure called the Cerne Abbas Giant. The following aerial photograph of this outstanding local landmark proves that the ancient Brits had the idea of erecting a large hardon facility thousands of years ago…

7 Responses to “The True Origin of CERN”

  1. A nice new twist on an old joke. 🙂

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    I ve not seen him and I presume he is visible from other parts of the landscape nearby rather than only from the air – or are we in von Daniken territory…?

    If “Cerne” is evfdence for ancient particle physicists, perhaps “Abbas” is evidence for a Middle Eastern influence?


    • telescoper Says:

      The giant – often called “The Rude Man of Cerne” – is certainly visible from the neighbouring countryside, especially the hills. You can’t see so well on the photo but it’s actually cut into the side of a hill rather than the top. It was clearly meant to be seen from the land, not from the air. Legend has it that a certain location on the figure has the ability to cure infertility so couples having difficulty conceiving babies would have sex on the giant’s no-so-private part. Of course in modern times nobody believes in that sort of mumbo jumbo. Nowadays they use homeopathic remedies.

      In order to apologise for taking the mickey out of the Cerne Abbas Giant, I should point out that the Dorset landscape is beautiful, and filled with fascinating bits of history.

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    Homeopathy – Nothing acts faster than Anadin…

  4. Daniel Mortlock Says:

    Surely Abbas is suggestive of a Swedish origin?

  5. Anton Garrett Says:


    And where do you think Abba got their name from?

    You might just be old enough to remember the stylish Pakistan batman Zaheer Abbas, who also played several seasons for Gloucestershire.


  6. Anton Garrett Says:

    Mention of homeopathy reminds me of other remedies for which the evidence is lousy and that Simon Singh was in the courts again last week. I hope he wins and gets expenses out of the British Chiropractic Association sufficient to bankrupt them.

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