You visit a page and find a punched metal gate, with an arrowhead design on one half and an Apollo capsule on the other. It slides open. You realize this is a 3d scene, like a game, and you can move about with familiar keyboard, mouse and touch controls.
The fog rolls back to reveal a paved driveway leading to a museum-like facad ahead. The outlines of animals line the walk. Strange animals
You hear your footstep as you pass through the thin gate, stepping over a drain and past some grassy planters. You cross the turnaround circle and mount the steps.
Inside, sunlight streams through a modernist glass domed roof, falling on stone sculptures of dinosaurs. Titanosaur towers over you. Beneath your feet, a plexiglass floor shows creatures from the sea. On you pass into an older-looking part of the museum. More creatures: Allosourus, stegosaurs. Forward into a gothic section, with still more creatures: plainer somehow, more crocodile-like. You pass outside again through a charred portal, burned to its hinges.
Outside, sailback lizard sculptures bask in the sun of a palatial back veranda. You descend the steps into a stand of pines and ferns. The path continues. Lonely, rough-hewn sculptures in rusted metal mourn a world they once ruled. Soon there’s nothing but a thick carpet of trilobite fossils, crunching beneath your feet. A plain marker declares even their end.
There is nothing but the scrub, the path, the sun. Occasional stone columns pass to either side.
Half an eternity later, the sun begins to set. As you pass over a small rise, the moon disappears. Below is a rocky beach leading to an endless sea. You descend as the stars come out and stand at the dark surf, watching the stars above and below.
This is the House of Time, a scale model of Earth history. Each step you’ve taken represents a million years.
, deep time