On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog




Rain Forest



All winter Jim , Diane and I have been saying that we wanted to visit the Biosphere 2 just an hour south of here. Today we made the drive and took the tour.

Some background : From 9/26/91 through 9/26/93 , 8 crew (known as biospherians )lived in this enclosed controlled environment. There was difficulty in maintaining the proper oxygen level and 1200 calories a day was what they lived on. That's great for dieting but these people had to maintain the facility , grow food, gather information from the experiments, cook, and keep this enormous place as clean as possible. Most of the time they didn't feel very well but never got sick. It didn't take long before there was squabbling among the crew about solutions to the lack of proper oxygen and how to increase the food supply. To this day the 8 "used to be friends" are friends no more.

The 5 biomes recreated here are a rain forest, savannah, ocean ( used to have coral reef but no longer), mangrove wetland, and desert. Since 2007,the University of Arizona manages the property and conducts different experiments relating to Arizona soil and water conditions. One of those experiments is growing native plants in soil on rooftops to see if that would lower the temperature in cities like Phoenix.

Some people say that the Biosphere was a failure but having visited today I say that just building this place is a success - an engineering marvel.

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