Preparing for the doomsday with the Doomsday Vault

“The sun rose again,

Still, something is odd in the plane,

The concrete jungles are now just a pile of shatters,

And, us the wanderers have got nothing but an empty platter.”

This small verse is an accurate representation of what would happen when doomsday finally comes. Well, if a situation like this arises, it will definitely not be a pleasant sight to watch.

It would mean the end of all life as we know it – including the end of edible food. In preparation for this doomsday, few of the great minds around the world gathered to plan over this hysterical and calamitic prediction.

And as a result, a museum of seeds was constructed in Svalbard, located between the North pole and Norway. This museum of seeds — where the seeds don’t really have much of monetary value — was nicknamed the Doomsday Vault.

Purpose of the Doomsday Vault

The threat of world wars, the vulnerability of crops to climatic change and several other geographic conditions posed a major threat to the existence of these plant species. The recognition of these vulnerabilities led to the development of the Doomsday Vault.

Location of the Doomsday Vault

The Doomsday Vault is located in a secure place that can withstand calamities. The Doomsday Vault is located in no-mans land and is the farthest north anyone can fly via airplane. Due to the Doomsday Vault’s remote location, it is far from the reaches of war and nuclear threats. The location of the Doomsday Vault ensures the availability of permafrost will keep the seeds frozen even when there’s no electricity.

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When and where was it constructed? Who was the backbone of the idea?

The construction of the Doomsday Vault started in 2006 and the place was cemented on 26th February 2008. It’s built on one of the mountains in Spitsbergen, the largest island of Svalbard. The Doomsday Vault is equipped with efficient cooling systems and electricity. The Doomsday Vault is a remarkable achievement and is the outcome of the co-ordinated work of Global Crop Diversity Trust and Norway.

What kind of seeds are stored in the Doomsday Vault?

Each seed sample consists of approximately 500 seeds. Sealed up in an airtight 3 foiled aluminum bag placed in plastic containers arranged in racks. Thus, helping in maintaining a proper database of the seeds and checking the environmental conditions on regular bases for securing the health of the seeds.

The seeds are stored in a deep freeze vault with a capacity of 4.5 million, stored in a -18 degree Celcius facility. Currently, it holds 990,000 samples which constitute several unique crops from all around the world from Asia and America to Japan and Australia constituting varieties of wheat, barley, maize, dal, eggplant, etc. The Doomsday Vault already holds the title for the most diverse collection of crop seeds in the world.

If you happen to wander and stop by the museum on the pole of the Earth, do visit the savior space. Comment on what do you find the Doomsday Vault fascinating?

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