Inside the Svalbard Seed Vault | Summary and Q&A

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May 4, 2016
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Veritasium
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Inside the Svalbard Seed Vault

TL;DR

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure facility located in the Arctic that safeguards millions of plant seeds to ensure future food crop diversity.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the seed vault work?

The seed vault functions like a bank vault, with seeds stored in sealed boxes. Only depositors have access to their seeds, and the facility has strict security protocols in place.

Q: Can anyone deposit seeds in the vault?

Only authorized depositors can access the vault. Depositors must sign a contract and go through a security screening process before their seeds are accepted.

Q: Are genetically modified seeds stored in the vault?

No, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault does not allow genetically modified seeds. Norway, the country overseeing the vault, prohibits the storage of genetically modified materials.

Q: Are there any unusual or exotic seeds stored in the vault?

While there are no strange or weird crops stored, the vault occasionally receives inquiries from individuals seeking to deposit their private seeds or gene material, which are not accepted.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located in the Arctic and consists of a series of tunnels buried deep within a mountain.

  • The facility is built to withstand natural disasters and store seeds at a constant low temperature to ensure their long-term preservation.

  • The vault currently houses nearly a million different seed varieties but has the capacity to store over a billion seeds in total.

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