Bosses at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) are not amused as a video has tipped up showing staff conducting a mock ritual human sacrifice to the goddess Kali.
The video includes the staged “stabbing” of a woman. It is filmed from the perspective of a secret viewer watching from a window above who, as the ceremony reaches its climax, lets out a string of expletives and flees with the camera still running.
The video, which circulated online, shows several individuals in black cloaks gathering in a main square at Europe’s top physics lab.
The statue of the Hindu deity Shiva is on permanent display at the complex, home of the Large Hadron Collider.
A Cern spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse that the scenes were filmed on its premises but without official permission or knowledge.
“Cern does not condone this type of spoof, which can give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work.”
The “investigation” under way was an “internal matter”, she said.
Those responsible for the prank had access badges. But at the end of the day, boffins have a weird sense of humour.
Geneva police told AFP they had been in contact with Cern about the video but were not involved in an official investigation.
Cern hosts machinery carrying out some of the world’s most elaborate particle research, including an enormously powerful proton smasher trying to find previously undiscovered particles.
Kali was not available for comment, but everyone knows she does not want her sacrifices stabbed and the ritual needs to be conducted in a grave yard. Plus it is men who are sacrificed to her – never women.