Gina Florio
December 29, 2016 2:48 pm
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We can all agree that 2016 was the worst year ever. A real bully. It stole away some of our most beloved artists and celebrities (we’ll never get over the double loss of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds), and let’s not even get into the presidential election. Well, the bad news just keeps rolling in. According to the scientific experts, we have to add an extra second to the clock before 2016 is over. Yes, an entire, full, whole second has to be added to our 2016 lives before we can happily sail away into 2017.

The U.S. Naval Observatory says that the time it takes for planet Earth to rotate doesn’t exactly match with the atomic clocks created by humans. So every once in a while we have to add on “leap seconds” to keep our measly human clocks in correlation with the Earth’s movement. The first time we had to add some “leap seconds” to the clock was back in 1972, and most recently we had to do the same in June 2015.

This year, on Dec. 31 at 6:59:59 EST, an extra second will be added to the clock. Hey, don’t roll your eyes. A lot can happen in a second.

For those of you who think a second really isn’t that big of a deal, and those scientists are just being really mean by unnecessarily extending 2016, think again. That small discrepancy between our clocks and the rotation of the planet could have a massive effect on satellites and space probes — basically all the things the scientists need to keep an eye on Earth.

It’s not the most ideal way to send off 2016, because most of us expected to kiss it goodbye with a bang and the middle finger, but, hey, we need to listen to science every once in a while.

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