The year was 1992. I was a geeky high school student and I remember taking a break from Super Tecmo Bowl to read my current issue of Popular Science magazine only to discover the wonder of a new ongoing project called Biosphere 2. A closed system experiment in which 8 “bionauts” were enclosed inside a glass building that contained a jungle, an ocean, a desert, and everything they would need to survive. I was so psyched about it and I looked forward to the year 2016 when I would be able to live on Mars in a closed system because of their work.
Fast forward to 2016 and I don’t live on Mars, I live in a house on wheels. I did however get to visit the place I used to dream of as a kid. The Jendens invited us to go and I was pretty geeked out. It is currently owned by the University of Arizona and they do various research projects within it’s walls. Anyone can go there and take a tour like we did. It was everything my high school self dreamed it would be.
The jungle was pretty amazing. It was so hot and humid in this area. if you look closely you might be able to see a camouflaged Predator in there. Maybe not.
The ocean wasn’t as cool because everything in it died long ago. They put something in the glass that blocks out certain parts of the sunlight that coral needed to survive so it all died off. At least it looked pretty.
The desert was dry and hot. Who would of thought?
The story of the 8 people that lived there is almost as fascinating as the structure. They didn’t have enough food and oxygen so they were under a lot of stress. They broke into factions and I guess it got pretty dodgy.
The tour lasted about an hour and a half. If you are near Tucson and you are a geek I recommend you visit.