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We know that it's a bit rich claiming the 'wink' emoticon as our own. We therefore wish to make a suitably grandiose gesture to justify the claim, and in doing so make an effort to convince alien beings that someone down here is on the case.

What we want to do is simple enough; create an emoticon that can be seen from space.

The proposed site for our big-ass emoticon is Lake Eyre North in Australia.

Yessir, that's one big emoticon

Lake Eyre North is 144 km long by about 77 km wide, and one of the largest and consistently driest salt lakes in the world. We intend to create a visible emoticon by ploughing the salt crust to reveal the contrasting layer underneath.

To create an emoticon roughly 50 kilometres (30 miles) across requires us to plough over 480 square kilometres of crust. The planned expedition will use a team of ten tractors, each guided by a GPS unit and pulling a standard multi-tined chisel plough.

The work will be hot, arduous, and perilous. The salt crust is over 460 mm thick in places and covers a bed of soft sludge made up of sediments, organic material and groundwater, so there's no room for error.

Aside from the projected hardware, fuel and labour costs, we will also require a slush fund from which we can draw the money needed to bribe officials at a local, state, and national level. The total sum required for the project has been estimated at over 15 million U.S. dollars. So far we have $29.67


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