The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is now officially open as of last week, after nearly thirty years of planning. The facility is not only a storage space for seeds from all over the world, it’s a gorgeous structure to boot, built in the permafrost of a mountain on Spitsbergen Island in the Arctic Island Svalbard, that is part of Norway. The Global Seed Vaulthas been designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe and from nearly every variety of food crop on the planet, such as wheat, rice or maize. So in the event of global catastrophe, we’ll be agriculturally prepared!

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The vault holds over 1.5 million distinct seed samples of agricultural crops, with the capacity to conserve over 4.5 million. The seeds will be stored at -18C to prevent them from germinating. But even if these fans in the cooling system fail, the natural permafrost surrounding the vault will keep them at around -4C.

We’re glad to see this project finally coming to fruition- sometimes the best ideas take time to grow from a seedling idea into a great project!

+ Svalbard Global Seed Vault homepage Via New York Times and WIRED Magazine