Aug 7, 2009
1 – Doomsday Seed Vault
Image credits: Global Crop Diversity Trust
A doomsday seed vault on a remote Norwegian island in the Arctic Ocean opened in
2008, creating a bank of more than 100 million seeds representing every major food crop on Earth.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is meant to be a Noah’s Ark for plant genetics. At 4 degrees below 0 F, it will preserve the thousands of regional and local crop varieties farmers worldwide have bred for thousands of years.
Were war, disease, plague or global warming to wipe out any one species, it could be replenished from the seeds stored deep in the permafrost of the mountain vault. It consists of three secure rooms at the end of a 400-foot tunnel blasted out of the mountain. The seeds are sealed in four-ply foil pouches, which themselves are sealed in boxes.
At their temperature of minus 4 degrees, some of the seeds may be viable for more than 1,000 years. For example, barley has been known to last 2,000 years and wheat 1,700 years.
The vault runs on a 10-kilowatt compressor. If it failed, the permafrost would keep seeds viable for an estimated 200 years.
In case you’re considering traveling there to see it for yourself, forget it. Among other things, the vault is protected by an armed guard. It’s been designed to withstand global warming, earthquakes – 6.2 magnitudes – and even a direct nuclear strike
2 – Mormon Church’s more Secretive Vaults
Image credits: gensocietyofutah.org
The Granite Mountain Record Vault, is the Mormon church’s more secretive vaults, used to store genealogical and other historical records.
Commonly referred to as “The Vault”, it is a massive feat of excavation, going far into and deep under solid mountain rock. The inside is climate-controlled to prevent damage to anything it houses, kept at a constant 60 degrees, with the air being re-filtered every 6 or so hours to get rid of any dust and to keep humidity levels at the norm. Fire-proof, flood-proof and even earthquake-proof, the vault also contains extensive motion and heat detectors, and as well as infrared sensors, there are also a few 6-ton blast doors and seismic sensors can detect any drilling that might be the result of a would-be thief. Your objects are safe as can be at this place.
3 – United States Bullion Depository, Fort Knox
Image credits: Bettmann/CORBIS
Commonly called Fort Knox, but actually the United States Bullion Depository, which is located near Fort Knox army post. The building itself is a fortress in security and design, under which lies the vault itself, protected by solid granite walls and a door that weighs 22 tons. The vault is opened by a combination which is provided by various members of the staff, as no single person has the entire combination. The whole place is also protected by alarms, cameras, armed guards, the US Mint Police, as well as soldiers from the nearby army base, thousands of soldiers as well as helicopter gunships.
4 – U.S. Air Force installation in Nevada – Nickname: Area 51
This would be the famous Area 51, which is the nickname given to a base in Nevada, north of Las Vegas. The entire area is restricted, with the off-limits airspace above it being referred to as “The Box” by pilots in the area, and they are “authorized to use deadly force” on any intruders that fail to heed any warnings offered to them. Private security subcontractors provide perimeter surveillance, driving camouflaged Jeeps and Humvees and are armed with M16 assault rifles. Traditional surveillance is augmented with motions sensors that are buried in the ground to detect any sort of intrusion and the area is also patrolled by military helicopters
5 – Saddam’s bunker
An impenetrable underground fortress so hardcore, that even bombs couldn’t get in. Well, US forces dropped a couple of 2-ton “bunker busting” bombs clean on top of Saddam’s bunker and while the palace above the bunker was quite damaged, nothing inside the bunker was affected at all. Apparently, the shelter could withstand a nuclear blast from a bomb going off just 200 meters away, it was that awesome. Designed by the grandson of the woman that built Hitler’s bunker, it came with its own power station, water treatment plant and air filtering system. The bunker also had food – both dried and frozen- supplies so that the occupants, around 100 people, could survive for over a year.
6 – A luxurious home with a nuclear missile silo basement
The Silohome is perhaps one of the safest and secure residential areas around, mainly in the fact that it’s a converted Atlas-F missile silo and the majority of the household is underground. Situated near upstate NY’s Adirondack State Park, the home comes with such delightful features as a Jacuzzi, marble baths, entertainment centre, 3 foot thick steel mesh-reinforced concrete walls, a 2000lb blast door, you know, the usual features that every home should have.
7 – Supermax prison, the Alcatraz of the Rockies
You’ve heard about the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay but you probably don’t know there’s another prison, a secretive installation in Colorado, where more than 40 terrorists are locked away.
The Administrative Maximum Facility or Supermax, as it is commonly called is the situated in Florence, Colorado is home to the convicts deemed to be the most dangerous and the ones most in need of maximum surveillance and control.
Nearly all prisoners are kept in solitary confinement for roughly 23 hours a day, with the last hour being used for exercise, conducted alone, with their only human interaction being with the officers that control the place.
There are no group activities: no work, no educational opportunities, no eating together, no sports, no getting together with other people for religious services, and no attempts at rehabilitation.
Each cell contains furniture purely made out of concrete, with a toilet the shuts off if it gets plugged up to prevent flooding, which is why the shower runs on a timer. Any windows in the cells are designed at such an angle so that the prisoner cannot pinpoint his position in the prison, what with only being able to see sky or roof through them. Outside of the cells, there are over 1000 remote-controlled steel doors, as well as the usual CCTV cameras, along with motion detectors, razor wire, attack dogs and pressure pads. No one’s getting out of this place.