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    The Safest Place on Earth: Svalbard Global Seed Vault

    While many might claim (and rightfully so) that Fort Knox is the most well guarded place on the planet there are other criteria to take into account when posing the question: what is the safest place on earth? What about natural disasters or global catastrophes? One interesting location that aims to live through the end of the world and might make the top of the list for the safest place on the planet is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Here we’ll look at this unique location that holds all the tools necessary for rebuilding the world after any serious global catastrophe and just what makes it so secure. 

    The basic idea behind the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a location where the world’s seeds can be stored for use in the event of a large scale regional or global catastrophe. The vault holds over 10,000 different varieties of seeds in one of the most secure locations on the planet. To begin with a bit of the history the vault began construction in 2006 by the commission of the Danish government. Seeds were previously being stored not far from the current location in an abandoned coal mine also located on Svalbard.

    Svalbard Global Seed Vault

    Photo By Frode Ramone from Oslo, Norway - DSCF0896.jpg

    So, what makes the Svalbard Global Seed Vault so secure? The actual vault is more specifically located on the island of Spitsbergen which was chosen for its lack of tectonic activity as well as permafrost. In the event that refrigeration fails the permafrost and cold weather will be able to maintain an adequate temperature for the seeds to persist. On the island of Spitsbergen the vault is located 120 meters inside a mountain and is theoretically protected even from an atomic blast for this reason. Additionally, the vault is located 130 meters above sea level so that it will be safe from rising water levels. Lastly, security is also state of the art though in a minimalist fashion.

    Everything is entirely automated and firmly secured behind four vault doors. There is no full time staff nor any single person that holds all of the codes required for entry. New seeds are only accepted a select few days of the year so there is less traffic and less of a chance of human error or sabotage. So, if you’re ever feeling pessimistic about the chances of rebuilding the world after a global catastrophe you need not worry. The tools are there and well guarded. It’s just a shame such a cool place has to be devoted to a humanitarian cause when it would make such a perfect evil lair.