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There is a vault in a distant town which is prepped to one day save humanity

  • The mysterious vault opened in 2008 but it is closed to the public
  • Conspiracy theories think there is a mysterious motive behind the vault
  • The vault is buried beneath snow, ice, mountains and five steel doors

Published on Dec 31, 2023 at 8:07PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jan 2, 2024 at 2:51PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Peter Fraser
The 'doomsday' vault under snow and ice

It sounds like something out of the movies but there is a ‘doomsday’ vault which is designed to save humanity.

Looking like something from a Mission Impossible film, it is hidden away in a place called Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard Norwegian archipelago.

An archipelago is a group of small islands, but there’s no sign of Tom Cruise.

Surrounded by snow, ice and polars bears, the vault is a facility which houses 1.2million different seed samples from around the world.

These seeds are relied upon by humans for survival. For example, crops for food.

The idea is that if these seeds are stored safely, they will always be able to be regrown if a species was wiped out by a war, climate change or pandemic in the future.

Come to think of it, it does sound like something Tom Cruise would get involved in. He’d hang off the side of his incredible private jet to travel there.

The Global Seed Vault opened in 2008 and is a constant source of conspiracy theories, as it is closed to the public.

It is -18 temperature where the seeds are stored. That is deep under the mountains and behind five steel doors.

However, in early 2023, the people behind the vault did create a virtual tour to see what goes on inside.

That might have stopped a few of the usual doomsday theories, although not those who think we’re living in an advanced virtual world simulation.

The Norwegian government, the Crop Trust and NordGen, the genebank of the Nordic countries, all co-manage the vault.

Lise Lykke Steffensen, executive director of NordGen, said: “It is a bit like being in a cathedral. It has high ceilings and when you’re standing inside the mountain, there’s hardly any sound. All you can hear is yourself.”

It sounds pretty spooky. Let’s hope the doomsday never comes and the vault seeds don’t need to be used.

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