The Svalbard Global Seed Vault houses more than a million seeds of all the world. It is the last hope of the terrestrial flora, if climate change defeats us, or war conflicts, or a global disaster. and now you can see as it is inside with a virtual tour.
This seed bank is unique in its concept. they call it The Chamber at the end of the world because it is carved out of rock inside a mountain at the North Pole, in Norway.
It can withstand volcanic eruptions, 10 degree earthquakes, atomic bombs, and floods. Even if there is no electricity, the permafrost would keep the seeds below freezing, for hundreds of years.
We say that it is unique because it is not a seed bank to use, like the many that exist in the world. Here these seed banks store “backup copies” of their collections. That is, a certain quantity of their seeds, so that they are not lost if they suffer a catastrophe.
This is the inside of the Chamber at the end of the world
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault It is located on the island of Spitsbergen, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
It is an isolated place, in the middle of the Arctic Circle, with temperatures always below zero:
You can only get there by plane. The airport is right next to the Dome, as you can see in the photo.
Upon entering the seed bank, awaits us a 120 meter tunnel that descends and enters the interior of the Platåberget mountain:
At the end of the tunnel there is a huge room carved into the very rock of the mountain. More than 40 meters of solid rock that blocks earthquakes, bombs, and radiation.
Another small tunnel leads to the Cathedral, another chamber excavated in the rock that gives access to the three seed rooms:
Each of them can store about 3,000 boxes of seeds. Together, they have a capacity of 4.5 million varieties of crops, although for now it only houses just over a million.
Each seed sample contains an average of 500 seeds, so they can be stored 2.5 billion seeds in the Seed Vault:
The temperature in the seed chambers is 18 degrees Celsius below zerothe same temperature that genebanks use to preserve seeds in the long term.
This low temperature is maintained by the artificial cooling system. But if it were to break down, the mountain’s permafrost could keep temperatures between 3 and 6 degrees below zero, unless climate change dictates otherwise.
The seeds they have been dried to a low water content and packed in airtight containers. They can survive under freezing conditions for decades, or even centuries. Some can last more than 1,000 years. But this figure can be much higher.
A few years ago it recovered from extinction to the judean palm tree, thanks to a 2,000-year-old seed. has recently been achieved germinate a Pleistocene plantfrom seeds 32,000 years old.
If you want to make a virtual tour by Svalbard Global Seed Vault, you can do it through this web page. It is available in Spanish. Step inside the dome of the end of the worldthe safest place on the planet.