Svalbard Global Seed Vault racks

Svalbard Global Seed Vault racks

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Credit: MASSIMO BREGA, THE LIGHTHOUSE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Svalbard Global Seed Vault racks, interior view. Constructed between 2006 and 2008, on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, this vault is designed to house copies of seeds or other genetic information held in other seed or gene banks worldwide. It is thought that seeds held here, kept in sealed packets at minus 18 degrees Celsius, will survive for hundreds and in some cases thousands of years. As of 2014, the number of samples held has exceeded 800,000. The seed bank has a capacity for 4.5 million samples. Photographed in July 2009.

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