About Fermilab

The Best (Sub)Urban Legends about Fermilab

A while back Fermilab Today asked readers to send in (sub)urban legends they had heard about Fermilab. We received many enthusiastic responses -- the best of which we compiled on this website. Here are our favorite Fermi-myths:

DISCLAIMER: None of the below is true (as far as we know!)

The Tevatron is a weather control machine (apparently it's never worked). Buffalo

Fermilab's buffalo are "Radiation Canaries," tipping physicists off to lethal radiation levels.

The Tevatron's EM field causes cars to shut off while driving, which is why there are so many emergency pullouts along Kirk Road.

An ossified Tyrannosaurus Rex stands in the tree line near the East Gate. On full mooned Friday the Thirteenths he comes to life and roams Fermilab's site. Though Roads and Grounds workers cover his tracks before daybreak to avoid scandal, four or five buffalo (and occasionally a few graduate students) are sometimes missing in the morning.

Work tools become magnetized at Fermilab. Try touching a wrench to the side of your tool box while on site -- it'll stick! Two additional effects of this strange magnetizing property are the poor radio/TV/cellular-phone reception Spiral Galaxy in and around Batavia, and the occurrence of spontaneous silverware-bending in nearby homes.

Your credit cards become demagnetized if you drive through Fermilab.

The Tevatron is a test track for space ships modeled after the intergalactic alien cruiser found at Roswell, New Mexico in 1959.

The Tevatron is a portal to another galaxy.

Hydrant The Tevatron is a portal to another dimension.

An underground bunker sheltering B-52 bombers rests 50 feet below the Tevatron.

Fermilab fire hydrants move around at night. This is because they're remote controlled robots (which is why they have antennae).

Fermilab is America's Far Eastern Regional Missile Installation.

We have a nuclear reactor, and Wilson hall is its cooling tower.

The Tevatron slows down time, which is why Fermilab physicists look as though they've been beamed here from the 1970s.

last modified 8/4/2004   email Fermilab