I remember all the news about Biosphere, back in the early 90s when I was in elementary school. There was something so hopeful about it, so pioneering and unusual. We followed the stories of the people inside, and talked about self-sustaining ecosystems on the moon or planets not yet discovered. For a budding sci-fi geek, it was pretty rad (to use a time-appropriate term).
However, this morning while perusing Fark I came across some rather heartbreaking pictures documenting the crumbling facility of Biosphere 2. It looks like something the Dharma Initiative left behind. The project has failed utterly, but to give you an idea of the scope of what it once was, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
Biosphere 2 contained representative biomes: a 1,900 square meter rainforest, an 850 square meter ocean with a coral reef, a 450 square meter mangrove wetlands, a 1,300 square meter savannah grassland, a 1,400 square meter fog desert, a 2,500 square meter agricultural system, a human habitat, and a below-ground level technical infrastructure. Heating and cooling water circulated through independent piping systems and passive solar input through the glass space frame panels covering most of the facility, and electrical power was supplied into Biosphere 2 from an onsite natural gas energy center through airtight penetrations.
[Divine Caroline via Fark; Image copyright Noah Sheldon]