Many of us have imagined –and seen in movies— scenarios in which due to natural disaster, climate change, or even global war, life as we know it comes to an end on Earth. In fact, catastrophe strikes so swiftly that parts of the Earth are rendered inhospitable, raising many questions related to mankind’s survival.
In order to keep Earth as it is alive, and to make sure catastrophic events do not wipe out all plant life on Earth (or certain species), there is a secret vault located in the Arctic.
Hidden some 122 deep inside a mountain located on a remote island between Norway and the North Pole, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is designed to ensure mankind has a rescue plan if the worst happens.
Svalbard is considered as the northernmost place in the world that still has scheduled flights, according to the Crop Trust, the group in charge of the global seed bank system. Interestingly, because the “Doomsday Seed Vault“ is located buried in permafrost, it could remain frozen around 200 years even if power systems failed.
The vault is home to seeds from countless institutions and nearly ever country in the world, collected from over 1500 global gene banks that store samples of seed from crops native to the region thy are from. Seeds from all over the world are sent to Svalbard in large boxes which are scanned with X-Rays prior to admission, in order to ensure that nothing but seeds is inside them.
Interestingly, the vault is unlocked only for deposits, which happen three or four times a year. To get inside the vault is extremely complicated, or better said nearly impossible due to the content it contains. According to reports, there are five doors with coded locks that anyone looking to get into the vault has to pass through.
Plus, The Crop Trust says that polar bears – which outnumber humans on the island – provide an extra “layer of security.”