Doomsday Vault gets huge delivery of new material

More than 20,00 new species added

The vault is intended to hold seeds that would allow a re-growth of food and other plants in the case of a catastrophe.

More than 20,000 new species of seeds were taken to what was formerly known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault this week.

The shipment represents more than 100 nations and is said to be a "sort of winter Olympics of crop diversity," says Marie Haga, the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Among the new varieties now on hand are Japanese barley, Brazil's "common bean," Tennessean red okra, and close to 200 types of wild potatoes.

That brings the total species in the vault to more than 820,000.

If disaster does strike, the vault won’t be easy to get to. It’s nestled inside a mountain of a distant island in the Svalbard archipelago, somewhere between the North Pole and Norway.

There are four air-tight doors protecting the seeds, and the facility is said to be able to survive nuclear war, asteroid strike, and other disasters.

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The structure was opened in 2008 and is designed to hold up to 4.5 million seed samples.

The Guardian reports there are usually deliveries to the facility a few times yearly.

More  here.

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