Have you ever wondered why NY drops a ball in Times Square at midnight? According to The Atlantic, back in 1904, Alfred Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, wanted a huge New Year’s Eve celebration that would be the talk of the town. He arranged for a huge fireworks display right in front of his new building. After the city banned fireworks in 1907, he decided to drop a large, illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball from a flagpole at midnight.
The ball has transformed over the years. The most recent upgrade was in 2008. It’s longer a even a ball–it’s geodesic sphere weighing 11,875 pounds. The surface is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles bolted to 672 LED modules, which can create more than 16 million colors and billions of patterns. But, according to The Atlantic, fireworks are still more impressive.