No joke: Large Hadron Collider shut down by speck of bread

Here's one for the books. CERN's Large Hadron Collider has once again been shut down. No catastrophic helium leak or failing magnets this time. The culprit? A speck of bread, which officials believe was originally part of a larger baguette. To make it all the more ridiculous, it's thought that the piece of bread was dropped into the works by a bird.

The morsel found its way into the doomsday device's outdoor machinery, sparking a temperature differential that triggered an automatic shutdown sequence. I know, I know — I'm sure that ruins all the images you had of a bird navigating the LHC's 17-mile-ring like a Death Star trench run, but there it is.

The Large Hadron Collider should still get collidin' in November as planned, though it will be offline for the next few days as CERN restarts it. Unless the crumb from a worker's lunch causes the LHC to explode and destroy half the planet, that is.

The Register, via Popular Mechanics, via io9