CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, but apparently, a small animal briefly shut down the entire system on Thursday.

This is a machine that smashes protons together at something close to the speed of light, but somehow, a furry creature got into the building housing the accelerator and managed to gnaw its way through a power cable.

Engineers believe that the animal was possibly a weasel, a species common to the area, but aren't entirely sure, because all they found were the charred remains of a furry animal that apparently got a deadly shock from the incident.

"We had electrical problems, and we are pretty sure this was caused by a small animal," CERN's head of press Arnaud Marsollier said.

The Large Hadron Collider discovered the Higgs-Boson particle in 2012. The Higgs-Boson is an elementary particle in particle physics. The particle accelerator was in the process of uncovering new data about the Higgs-Boson when the unfortunate animal chewed on the accelerator's power cord. Scientists also believe that the Large Hadron Collider is on the cusp of discovering other particles key to particle physics.

Last year, several experiments with the Large Hadron Collider suggested the existence of a new particle, which, if true, could change much of what we know about particle physics. This is particularly important because if this particle does exist, it's not something previously predicted by science. Theoretical physicists released over 300 papers related to this potential discovery as they attempted to explain what this particle is and its importance in the grand scheme of things.

For now, though, all that research is at a halt. It will take the Large Hadron Collider engineering team several days to several weeks to get the Large Hadron Collider back online and back to gathering data about this potential new particle.

"It may be mid-May," Marsollier said.

It's not even like this is the first time something like this has happened: one incident involved a bird dropping a baguette on the accelerator's electrical systems. Because of the particle accelerator's location in the countryside of Geneva — which is full of wildlife — animal interference just comes with the territory.

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