The Svalbard (Norway) seed vault, also known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, has already exceeded half a million samples, in what is the world’s largest seed vault. The vault can store up to 4.5 million varieties of crops. Each variety contains an average of 500 seeds, which equates to a maximum capacity of 2.5 billion seeds.
Norway will invest $12.7 million in maintenance and infrastructure improvements, with the construction of a new access tunnel and a new service building.
It is situated near Longyearbyen, in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago.
The objective of this seed bank is to preserve the diversity of flavors of the planet’s crops, in addition to resistance to diseases, nutritional value and ability to grow in different climates. It currently houses 1,059,646 varieties of unique crops. Deliveries are made several times a year from countries including the United States, Australia, Burundi, Colombia, Germany, India, Japan, North Korea, Russia, and many others.
” The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an iconic reminder of the remarkable conservation effort that goes on every day, around the world and 24 hours a day, an effort to conserve the seeds of our food crops ,” said Marie Haga, Executive Director of Crop Trust.
” Safeguarding such a wide range of seeds means that scientists will have the best chance of developing nutritious and climate-resistant crops that can ensure that future generations not only survive, but thrive .”
Its most important purpose is to preserve the crops that serve as food for humanity in the event of a world catastrophe, it is capable of resisting earthquakes, impacts of nuclear bombs and other disasters.
It has a capacity for 4.5 million samples of different seeds, each sample contains about 500 seeds. They come from 1,500 seed banks in more than 100 countries.
Samples will only be opened in case all other seed resources have been destroyed or exhausted.
Curiosities of the vault of the end of the world.
- Exposure proof steel doors.
- Built 120 m deep in the icy mountain.
- The permafrost, or subterranean layer of surrounding ice, maintains natural cooling and ensures that the temperature does not rise below -4 ° C and -6 ° C if the electrical system fails.
- The priority seeds are: Banana, beans, Chickpeas, rice, potatoes and wheat.
- The three warehouses into which it is divided have a capacity for 2,000 million seeds.
- It is impervious to volcanic activity, earthquakes, radiation, and rising sea levels.
- The cost of its construction was 9.3 million dollars.
- Foil packets with about 500 heat sealed seeds, which guarantees a low metabolic activity and a perfect state of conservation for centuries.
- They are placed in a storage box that holds between 400 and 500 packages.
- The boxes are stored in the vault.
A video with Derek Muller’s visit: