The Elephant Clock

The Elephant Clock

The mechanical elephant is a real, functional water-clock, built by scientist and inventor Abu al-'Iz Ibn Isma'il ibn al-Razaz al-Jazari (more commonly known as Al-Jazari), who served as the court engineer for the Artuqid king Nasir al-Din.

Al-Jazari invented so much amazing stuff that it's hardly believable. He's credited with the earliest camshaft and crankshaft, an escapement mechanism, reciprocating pistons, countless clocks and water-raising devices. some would even argue that he's the great-grandfather of robotic systems, and recently his other works have inspired some pretty amazing tributes.

The clock probably didn't stand in the courtyard, but rather in the palace itself, and it probably wasn't this big, but I couldn't resist giving it such a dramatic presentation.