The Syrian Civil War has been getting more attention by the day. It is the primary cause of the refugee crisis that’s confounding Europe, and this week, a major source of contention between presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.
Because it’s an ugly war, and one so far away from America, it’s something that many people choose not to think about. But it’s happening. And as we all know, war, no matter where in the world it is, has far reaching ramifications.
Including all the way to the North Pole.
Well, about 800 miles south of the North Pole. One of the coolest things that nobody knows about is that on the island of Svalbard, located in the Arctic Ocean between continental Norway and the northernmost point on Earth, lies a global seed bank — often called the Doomsday Bank — that holds more than 860,000 duplicates of seed samples from around the world for safekeeping in case of a global catastrophe.
The underground vault is built into a mountain on the Norweigan island. Only an entrance way is visible above ground, making it look like the most impeccable secret hideout imaginable. It makes the fort you once built as a 6-year-old look like complete dog shit.
Its purpose is to preserve seeds for hundreds, and possibly thousands of years (the doomsday vault, not your shitty fort). In other words, it’s designed to withstand an apocalypse. The seeds are cooled at -18 degrees Celsius (-.4 Fahrenheit), and are further chilled by the tundra’s permafrost.
I don’t think you really need to be a science geek to appreciate this. And in its seven year history, nothing has ever been removed from the vault. Until now.
Another seed vault, based in Syria, is requesting backup copies of certain seeds back from the Arctic vault, to replace samples they have lost in the Syrian Civil War.
This is much more interesting than the pope visit last week. Especially in light of the revelation that Francis not only secretly met with Kim Davis, the intolerant county clerk from Kentucky, but wished her words of encouragement. Seriously, that bombshell might singlehandedly drop the pope’s popularity level in the U.S. from Bernie Sanders-level to Donald Trump. And that’s pretty much as low as it gets, I don’t care what the damn polls say.
I want live footage from the doomsday vault withdrawal. I want Anderson Cooper in a North Face jacket reporting at the scene. I want Wolf Blitzer to go there and never come back.
Unfortunately, it took a tragic situation like the Syrian Civil War to bring this interesting vault into the spotlight.
But at least in the future I now know where to inject my seed.