ONGYEARBYEN, Norway (CNN) -- A vast underground vault storing millions of seeds from around the world is scheduled to open this week in a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Ocean.
The inside of one of the vaults at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which will hold 4.5m different seed types.
Dubbed the "Doomsday Vault," the seed bank is considered the ultimate safety net for the world's seed collections, protecting them from a wide range of threats including war, natural disasters, lack of funding or simply poor agricultural management.
The Norwegian government paid to build the vault in a mountainside near Longyearbyen, in the remote Svalbard islands between Norway and the North Pole. Building began last year, and the vault is scheduled to open officially Tuesday.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, as it is officially known, can hold as many as 4.5 million seed samples and will eventually house almost every variety of most important food crops in the world, according to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is paying to collect and maintain the seeds...