Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Arctic ‘Doomsday’ Vault Receives 50,000 Seed Deposit

The Arctic “doomsday” seed vault just received a deposit of 50,000 new seeds. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the world’s largest repository of seeds and was built to ensure the protection of our food source should a natural or man-made disaster ever occur on a global scale.

The new and massive seed deposit at the Arctic doomsday vault included more than 15,000 reconstituted samples from the International Center for Agricultural Research, MSN reported. The seed samples are supposed to be able to enhance agriculture in dry zones. The doomsday seed vault, which is technically labeled as a “gene bank,” was built on an extremely isolated island in a permafrost zone about 620 miles away from the North Pole near Norway, in 2008.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened for the first time in October 2015. The researchers from the global center took seeds from the doomsday vault to study, multiply, and reconstitute. The seed samples largely consisted of some of the most vital food sources on the planet – rice, sorghum, potatoes, barley, wheat, chickpea, and lentil, CNBC noted.

The researchers borrowed the samples from the Arctic doomsday seed vault because they could not garner access to the vital 141,000 specimens anywhere else. Reaching the prime source for the seeds in Aleppo, Syria, was not feasible due to the ongoing civil war tearing the region apart and the area’s potential for terrorist activity.

Aly Abousabaa, the International Center for Agricultural Research head, said the borrowed seeds allowed researchers to successfully reconstitute the samples and “find solutions to pressing regional and global challenges.”

“The reconstituted seeds will play a critical role in developing climate-resilient crops for generations,” Abousabaa said.

The doomsday seed vault is built into the side of a mountain in Longyearbyen, the main city in Svalbard. The vault blends almost entirely in with the natural environment that surrounds it. A sole door permits access to the seed vault and leads directly to a 400-foot-long tunnel delving deep into the mountain.

The seeds stored inside the doomsday vault are supposed to be viable for growing food for at least 200 years. Even if a terror attack or natural disaster completely destroys the power grid, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will not reportedly lose access to electricity. The temperatures inside the vault are reportedly perfect for the long-term preservation of the seeds, even if the power grid goes down.

When word of the shipments of seeds being quietly removed from the doomsday vault hit the news in 2015, concerns were quickly voiced around the world. Fear government leaders were prepping for some type of cataclysmic event dominated social media for weeks. The covert nature of the removal was reportedly not sparked by any global threat but was conducted in secret purely for security reasons.

“It just shows that the global system of fail-safe backup works,” Michael Koch, of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which funded the seed shipments, said at the time. “We wanted to make sure that the publicity around this deposit is not taken by someone for different purposes.”

The 50,000 seed samples returned to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault were from collections of specimens from India, Morocco, Pakistan, Benin, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Belarus, Mexico, the United States, and Great Britain.

Once the researchers returned the samples, the total number of seeds stored to sustain humanity in case an end-of-the-world as we know it event occurs, hit the 940,000 mark. The vault has the capacity to house 4.5 million seeds.

[Featured Image by Kram9/Shutterstock]

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