Photo courtesy of the MIT Museum

MIT Hacks: Part Two

And a police car on the roof is just the tip of the iceberg!

In Cambridge MA, the word “hack” has a very different meaning than you may expect. According to Cantabrigians, the word, ‘hack” does not simply imply a way to make something easier. Instead, it is a term used to describe an amusing prank. And no, we are not pranking you!

Students at MIT may be known for their brilliant minds, and brilliant inventions -- could you imagine a life without email, the internet, or even condensed soup? -- but they’re also known for their brilliant sense of humor. And that includes their long history of epic pranks.

We simply can't get enough of MIT's hacks. Here are five more hacks that will have you scratching your head and wondering, "How did they do that?"

1. Police Car on top of The Great Dome

Recognized as one of the most prestigious technical universities, MIT students still know how to have a bit of fun. Dating back to 1994, pranksters went above and beyond to place an entire police car on top of the notable dome. Even in 1928, a cow was found on a dorm roof. Let’s just say the students became increasingly more clever over the years.

2. Street Signs You’ll Only See at MIT

MIT students certainly have a great sense of humor. In 1985, students didn’t mind poking a little fun at themselves by altering a Speed Limit sign to read “Speed Limit 3 x 10^10.”

Photo courtesy of the MIT Museum

In the early 1970’s, MIT students embraced their “nerdiness” by changing a sign to read “Nerd Xing.” Around the same time period, another sign was changed to show visitors and drivers that they were in MIT’s territory – “Go Slow, Geeks Crossing Ahead.”

Photo courtesy the MIT Museum

3. Piano Launch

What began as a timeless tradition in 1973, has now become a time-honored tradition at MIT- the piano launch. Every spring, students throw a piano off the Baker House to commemorate the last day students can drop classes for the spring term.

Photo courtesy of the MIT Hack Gallery

4. MIT Hackers celebrate 20 years of Pixar

To celebrate 20 years of Pixar films, MIT hackers placed replicas from the films across the campus. We think that MIT students may be the biggest fans of all- the masterminds created a balloon house in Lobby 7 to replicate the movie, “Up.” Even Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story could be found "hanging" around the campus. 

Photo courtesy of MIT Hack Gallery

5. Caltech’s Cannon Transported to MIT

Every university has a rival and MIT’s is CalTech, located in sunny Pasadena, California.  Usually, MIT hacks take place in and around campus, but this next hack required a little more planning and more transportation needs than usual.

On March 28, CalTech’s Fleming Cannon, which usually resides in front of CalTech’s Fleming House disappeared. The university’s administrators sent out emails begging for their cannon’s safe return. Flash Forward to April 6, where the Flemming Cannon popped up on MIT’s McDermott Court. Not only was the cannon on the other side of the country, but the cannon displayed a new 24-karat gold-plated Brass Rat. The Brass Rat refers to the MIT class ring, which includes a beaver on the face of the ring.


If you loved reading this Insider Post, you'll love our Top Five MIT Hacks


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