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After the apocalypse: The Arctic vault that could keep mankind alive

Updated 2:54 PM ET, Thu October 22, 2015
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The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, looks like a Bond villain's lair, but its contents could help humanity recover from a major disaster. Gul Tuysuz/CNN
Svalbard, midway between Norway and the North Pole, was chosen as the location because it is geologically stable, and remote but accessible. Christian Streib/CNN
Behind a heavy metal door, millions and millions of seeds have been deposited for safe keeping. Gul Tuysuz/CNN
The seeds are packed into foil bags and locked into crates which can only be reopened by the gene bank which sent them to the vault. Gul Tuysuz/CNN
The vault is carved out of the side of a mountain -- the icy permafrost surrounding it functions like a natural freezer, so even if the power fails, it will stay cold. Gul Tuysuz/CNN
The seeds represent a diverse collection of crops from across the globe, from maize, wheat and barley to lettuce and potatoes. Gul Tuysuz/CNN