This week, the "doomsday seed vault" (as it's known in headlines, anyway) made the news because scientists made the first "withdrawal" from the remote arctic store. But there's another reason to be excited about the underground vault on Norway's Svalbard archipelago. Weed! And when shit gets real, we're gonna need it.
Why did they take some seeds out? According to The Crop Trust, an affiliated seed bank in Syria couldn't provide needed seeds to researchers in the Middle East because of the war in Syria. It's kind of amazing that the Aleppo field station functioned through the war as long as it did. Now that it can't, the mothership in the ice cliffs takes over.
But there's more to be amazed about with this crazy Norwegian hidey-hole! It contains tons of beautiful magical cannabis seeds, because cannabis is an important plant that humans have used for everything from medicine to food to architecture to fashion to–well, getting high–for many thousands of years.
As this 17-minute Svalbard mini-documentary puts it, the vault is "built to withstand an extreme future." That extreme future, thank heavens, will include marijuana. Can you even imagine an extreme future without pot? Perish the thought. But not the pot.
From a story on Marijuana.com, written some time ago but worth a new look today:
According to a Marijuana.com analysis of Svalbard's database, there are 21,500 cannabis seeds being held for safekeeping in the vault. That's more weed seeds than there are asparagus, blueberry or raspberry seeds stored at the facility. There are more marijuana genetics in the "Doomsday Seed Vault" than there are for artichoke, cranberry and pear combined.
The stored cannabis seeds originate from at least 17 countries, some of which aren't at all surprising, like The Netherlands. Five hundred of the marijuana seeds, however, come from North Korea. None originate from the United States.
While the government of Norway owns and operates the Svalbard vault itself, with assistance from the Nordic Genetic Research Center and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Global Crop Diversity Trust, the seeds are actually owned by the gene banks that stashed them there.
Since the facility opened in 2008, there have been 39 deposits of cannabis seeds by three separate organizations: the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Germany and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center, based in Sweden and Norway.
Most recently, on April 9 of this year the Austrian group deposited 1,000 seeds each from France, The Netherlands, Poland and its own country.
[via Marijuana Majority]