Wednesday, May 30, 2007

North Pole Vault

I feel bad about not writing much on here lately. I think I’m just preoccupied that we’re moving in a few weeks. Oh well.

I’d like to introduce something beyond cool: the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

It’s a frozen underground facility drilled into the side of a mountain on a remote Norwegian island, intended to hold emergency supplies of every type of plant seed on the planet.

Not only is this pretty much the coolest idea ever, but it’s being built in the coolest place ever in the coolest way possible. God bless Norway. The Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg is also entombed in the side of a mountain (above); I guess when you have a lot of mountains this probably seems like the best way to entomb things. It’s also totally awesome. They just need to be careful not to wake the you-know-what:

The only way this could be improved upon from my perspective would be if it were a giant library instead of seeds, but seeds are OK, I guess. I believe the Germans have large underground document archives, and I’m sure other countries do, too, but something about it being on a frozen island really sets this one above the rest. And apparently it only cost 5 or 6 million bucks, which seems like peanuts for something as rad as this.

And - I am not making this up - the security system can’t be beat: “...the facility will also be equipped with motion detectors and possibly even CCTV. The presence of polar bears, which prowl the area, may be seen by some as providing an added layer of security.” I think that says it all. I tried to find the site on Google Earth, but it’s all snow.

Obviously (and I don’t want to belittle the scientific importance of the project, but this must be said) this would also be a great setting for a horror movie, first-person shooter video game, or a retarded Michael Crichton novel about how botanists are our enemies and must be destroyed.

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