It may not portray the most accurate representation of science (or history), but this Rube Goldberg machine designed by engineering students at Purdue does tell a compelling story, and, with 244 steps to water a single flower, it does earn the title of World's Most Complicated Rube Goldberg contraption—edging out previous record holders at Michigan's Ferris State University, who'd built a machine with 230 steps.
Popular Mechanics has an inside look at the machine, and how it was created.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.