The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic was designed to withstand a nuclear bomb and, in the event of an apocalypse, act as a Noah’s Ark for plants. It was designed to be a a beacon, a symbol of hope looking out over the over the Barents Sea. Built in 2008 by the Norwegian government (for $9 million), it houses 526,000 samples of seeds; scientists hope these might be interbred in order to adapt global agriculture to climate change, thereby averting mass starvation. The vault extends 146m into the sandstone mountain; at the end, there are three airlocked refrigerated caverns with space to preserve up to 4.5 million strains of plants. Full story here.