Gallery: Seedbomb Plant Capsules Combat Desertification


Doomsday devices they are not – these seed-sowing plant bombs are one design team’s weapon of choice in the fight against global desertification. Consisting of a biodegradable shell loaded with a potent payload of plant capsules and nutrient-rich artificial soil, Seedbombs are designed to be dropped out of planes to help slow the spread of desert regions that are growing due to deforestation and other man-made causes.

Designed by Hwang Jin Wook, Jeon You Ho, Han Kuk II and Kim Ji Myung, Seedbombs are a way to dispense direct aid to areas of impending desertification. Each carrier shell fans out in flight to disperse multiple clear plant capsules containing both soil and seeds. Once the capsules land, the soil provides enough nutrients and moisture to allow the plant to become strong enough to sustain itself. As the plant matures, the capsules gradually melt away.

Admittedly the design is purely conceptual and there’s some serious considerations to work out – wouldn’t it be dangerous to local flora and fauna to carpet entire regions with a hail of seed-spewing pods? How best to mix up the distribution of plants to be sown? Do the resources, manufacturing costs, and flights to disperse the capsules really make this the best option? We don’t expect to see seed bombing tactics in use anytime soon, although the concept certainly caught our eye.

Via Dvice and Yanko Design


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  1. Amy Desrosiers-Davis April 12, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Why not give people jobs to plant and rebuild the land instead of wasting all that money on the inventing the technology, materials,fuel and application?

  2. Pranit Shinde April 9, 2015 at 12:59 am

    i have and idea with it
    we can use mud that is very tough ovened like bricks to cover it
    and make its end shrapened so no plastick or any extra cost for it

  3. deeseesnipa May 14, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I think you took this “seed bomb” idea from a short film called ‘The Nature of Battle’. I saw it at the Ottawa Animation Festival last September, and the movie was released in April 2008.

    This is what I’m talking about, its a trailer for ‘The Nature of Battle':

    Here is some press on the film, they talk about the seed bomb idea:

  4. Greenerchina May 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    @ Ken J – it was Mangrove I believe, and it was from the seeds not getting deep enough into the soil + lack of germination

    In general, I am still shocked that we have come to the point where we are carpet bombing seedlings. The island that Ken mentioned could have been planted by hand over a couple of days using volunteers (pick any high school/ university environmental group) with much higher rates of success – and at a far reduced cost.

    .. or perhaps the goal is just to attract VC funding?


  5. bfg1921 May 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    This has already been done and tested on the discovery channel show called “Ways to save the Planet”.
    Here’s the episode link it was really cool to see how the testing went and the different problems presented with the moduales.

  6. keypad May 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Cool idea, but what happens to the plastic that breaks off when the bomb explodes? Isn’t that wasteful?

  7. Ken J May 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Not only was this thought of before, but there was an hour long television special on Discovery channel about this very same idea. They tested it with helicopters on an island south of New Orleans that was decimated after Katrina. This island had certain plant (I forget which) that was important in preventing soil erosion. The hard shell approach was abandoned and they ended up with a soft netted shell. The bombing was successful after a few kinks had to be worked out, but the seeds never took. I can\’t remember the explanation of why the seeds didn\’t take.

  8. Demetrius May 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    The same problems/environmental factors these things are meant to combat will keep them from succeeding. What’s going to water these new seeds? Why couldn’t it just water the local flora?

  9. DFSFA May 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm


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