Arctic Doomsday Vault Gets Seed Deposit

The “Arctic Doomsday” seed vault just took in a hefty deposit of some of the world’s most varied and treasured plant seeds to store in case of a world catastrophe.

Arctic doosday vault spitsbergen

Arctic “doomsday” seed vault in Svalbard. @christophorus photo

The recent deposit to the Global Seed Vault consisted of 50,000 seeds from several countries around the world including the US, Britain, and Pakistan.15,000 of those seeds derived from the International Center for Agricultural Research (ICARDA), restoring some of the seeds they borrowed three years ago. The vault has been the go – to storage facility as ICARDA’s other facility is inaccessible in Aleppo, Syria due to sustained conflict. The organization, which strives to improve agricultural production in dry zones such as the Middle East and Africa, borrowed potato, rice, barley, lentil, wheat and sorghum seeds previously and has since relocated its operations to Morocco and Lebanon.

“Together, the nations that have deposited their seed collections account for over a quarter of the world’s population,” Marie Haga, Executive Director of Crop Trust, the organization behind the vault, said in a statement.

The vault, located on the remote Arctic isle of Spitsbergen is buried 425 feet inside a mountain and covered with snow. The consistent cool temperatures from permafrost levels and low seismic activity are crucial factors in its location and ability to sustain seeds for hundreds of years.

Schematic of the Doomsday Vault in Spitsbergen.


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault currently hold just under a million seeds and has a full capacity of 4.5 million.  The Seeds would be a backup for key agricultural staples in the case of a global catastrophic incident.

Pin It on Pinterest