If the world ends, the Doomsday vault now has over a million types of seed to help humanity start over

Svalbard global seed vault NordGen

  • The ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault in Norway just received its largest deposit till date of 60,000 new varieties of seeds.
  • The vault is now home to 1.05 million seeds, which is still only a quarter of its total capacity.
  • The new seeds include some notable examples like the first deposit by a Native American group and ‘royal’ plants from Prince Charles country home.
The ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault in the Arctic received 60,000 new seeds samples on February 25 to keep safe in case the world comes to an end and civilisation needs to start up again from scratch.

This is the largest deposit for the Seed Vault since it opened its doors for deposits in 2008.

Depositers arriving at the vault for the seed deposit ceremomyNordGen

The addition of the 60,000 new seeds brings the total number of seed varieties stored in the vault up to 1.05 million. And, this only one-fourth of its capacity. The three underground alcoves designed to maintain a steady temperature of -18 degrees Celsius can hold up to 4.5 million samples overall.

Royal seeds
The sample includes some notable examples including the first contribution from a Native American group, the Cherokees, which include beans, squash and corn.

Britain’s Prince Charles, known for his environmental activism, sent in 27 different wild plants — including cowslips and orchids from his country home in Highgrove.

"It’s more urgent than ever that we act now to protect this diversity before it really is too late. Therefore the Seed Vault and seed banks around the world play a vital role in this critically important mission," said the prince in a statement.

How does the Seed Vault work?
The Seed Vault was launched in 2008 by Norway as a way to safeguard humanity’s future against the threat of climate change, wars and any other disasters — natural or man-made.

Seed Vault from the outsideNordGen

It’s located inside a mountain near Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen Island near Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, which is approximately 1,300 kilometres from the North Pole.

Seed Vault's bombproof doorNordGen

Any country or institution can sign up to deposit seeds in the vault. They retain ownership over the seeds that they have deposited and can make a withdrawal whenever they deem necessary.

The 60,000 new samples of seeds that were deposited on Tuesday came from 36 different regional and international institutions. They included wild varieties of European apple trees, wheat, rice, wildflowers and corn.

<u></u>Seed Vault storageNordGen

"As the pace of climate change and biodiversity loss increases, there is new urgency surrounding efforts to save food crops at risk of extinction," said Crop Trust Executive Director Stefan Schmitz.

Even though the Earth lives on, the vault has already proved itself useful on one occasion. During Syria’s civil war, researchers were able to retrieve seed varieties of grains that were lost when Aleppo was destroyed.

See also:
The world's 'doomsday seed vault' is built to store every crop on the planet, but the icy area that protects it is at risk

The Man Behind The 'Doomsday' Vault That Stores Every Known Crop On The Planet Explains How It Came To Be

What it's like inside the doomsday vault that stores every known crop on the planet
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