Doomsday Vault: Seeds, 50000 of Them, Deposited in Arctic Stronghold

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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built underground about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the North Pole, is a frozen-storage facility that houses the world's most important crop seeds. It bolstered its reserves two days ago when it received almost 50,000 seeds, according to Crop Trust, a nonprofit that works closely with the vault.

And on Wednesday, that seed vault got even more seeds - nearly 50,000 new samples - to help preserve biodiversity.

The vault contains seed samples for foods like potatoes, sorghum, rice, barley, chickpeas, lentil, and wheat, which are consumed by much of the global population.

Around 15,000 of the seeds came from the International Center for Agricultural Research (ICARDA), who were forced to "borrow" from Svalbard three years ago when they could not access their own seed bank in Aleppo, Syria due to fighting in the area. It is now the largest seed vault in the world.

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The latest specimens sent to the bank, located on the Svalbard archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, included more than 15,000 reconstituted samples from an worldwide research center that focuses on improving agriculture in dry zones.

"The reconstituted seeds will play a critical role in developing climate-resilient crops for generations", Abousabaa said. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, also dubbed the "Doomsday Vault", has been gathering seeds to ensure food security for human survival after any post-apocalyptic events.

Institutions from the USA, the UK, Mexico, Benin, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, the Netherlands and Belarus deposited seeds, bringing the vault's sample total to 930,821.

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