Building a Doomsday Vault for the World’s Data

Tuesday April 11, 2017 Written by Garry

Norway’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault currently stores close to a million seed samples within its futuristic-looking walls. We wrote about the so-called ‘Doomsday Vault’ way back in volume 10 (grab a copy; it’s a good’un), and in the years since it’s undergone a couple of changes.

The most notable happened just last week, with the launch of the World Arctic Archive, which will house not seeds, but data. Countries around the world are being asked to submit information they deem important to their culture, with that data to be stored away in the vault for safekeeping.

Interestingly, the data won’t be stored digitally. Rather, it will be transcoded onto a special type of film (pictured bottom left). The reason: analogue tech is just way more future-proof than digital – especially if that future involves a cataclysmic event that thrusts mankind back into the dark ages, devoid of advanced technology as well as plant life.