Doomsday is defined as “the end of the world or a time when something truly catastrophic will happen.” Whether it be by a meteor collision, famine or Christ coming to earth, many people believe that the “world is going to end” and some have taken steps to ensure that they and their possessions are going to survive, along with the cockroaches. There are also organizations that have taken steps to ensure the survival of the species, our culture and even cookies. Here are some of the most amazing doomsday vaults to be constructed.
1. Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Located on the frozen islands of Svalbard, Norway where the polar bears vastly outnumber its people, is the Svalbard Global Seed Fault (SGSV). The large rectangular doors which lead into a vault that was made to last 10,000 years is home to the largest collection of seeds ever created. Collected over a time period of 70 years, SGSV contains 1.5 billion seeds from around the world, just enough to reseed the planet were a catastrophic event to ever occur. The vault cost Norway $9 million to construct, while billionaire and environment advocate Bill Gates covered the cost of shipping the seeds to Norway.
2. Frozen Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is one of the world’s top tier zoos as they not only taken steps to ensure the survival of the animals that are on earth now, but they’ve also taken steps to preserve those animals. In the early 1970s, they began collecting rare animal hides which, thanks to stem cell technology, can be transformed into cells capable of producing sperm and egg cells. Those cells can be combined to form an embryo which then allows for the recovery of endangered species. As of April 2021, the Zoo’s collection includes samples form 8,400 species ranging from pandas and whales to gorillas.
3. Arctic World Archive
While other organizations plan to preserve plant, animal and human specimen, the Arctic World Archive (AWA) is home to a different kind of collection. In the event of an unforeseen disaster, the AWA contains 21 terabytes of source software of the world’s most prized artwork, literature, and religious documents. Housed in a decommissioned coalmine near the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the software is preserved on high-solution photosensitive reels that were designed for longevity. Additionally, the creators provided instruction in five languages as to how to convert them to usable files.
4. Global Microbiota Vault
The word microbe often conjures up an image of microscopic organisms that cause disease, and while it is true for some, there are microbes without which we would not be able to survive. The human microbiota, which includes fungi, bacteria, and viruses, perform vital roles in the body, especially in the immune and digestive system. Over the last several decades, scientists have noticed a significant decline in these beneficial microbes leading them to make plans for a biobank. The Global Microbiota Vault would need to be diversified, with specimen being collected from all corners of the world. It will also cost millions to staff and maintain, but if it ensures the survival of healthy humans, then it is a cost that must be paid.
5. Global Oreo Vault
While most people think about storing artwork, history, and specimen for the future, one company set out to make sure that the people of tomorrow have their sweet tooths satisfied. In October 2020, the construction of the Global Oreo Vault was completed. The cookie company decided to create the fortress to ensure that their cookies and recipes had a chance against a potential catastrophe. Located just down the way from and based on the designs used by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Oreo’s vault contains mylar wrapped cookies to help withstand changes in moisture and temperature. They’ve also gone the extra mile by also storing powdered milk to have with the cookies.
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