We’ve crossed another item off of our Arizona To Do list! This past Sunday, we toured the ecological research facility, Biosphere 2, in Oracle, AZ.
Biosphere 2 is a bit of a controversy amongst Arizonans. Many believe it was a financial failure & waste, while others praise it as a great scientific project. I won’t delve into either of those, though the introductory video to the tour does skim over it. I will say that despite my husband and I both being individuals who are very critical of finance/economics, we went in to the tour with open minds & found it to be very interesting from a scientific perspective & a financial perspective.
13 minute introductory video before the tour.
There were 2 “missions” at the Biosphere: the 1st lasted 2 years, the 2nd ended prematurely. The crew participating in the missions weren’t allowed to leave & were supposed to be entirely self sufficient using the agriculture they managed.
Here is their kitchen.
An example of their living quarters.
Salt water ocean pool (containing various species of fish). We were told this “ocean” was at the highest sea level in the world.
Tropical jungle area that at one point had lemurs that liked to cause mischief & get into the machines.
This ocean has a machine that generates small waves.
Survival of the fittest bug experiment.
Can’t remember what this was. Too much information for my non-scientifically-inclined-brain to process at this point.
Our tour guide with neon green eyeglasses.
Air shafts / caves. It sent up cool air as the desert environment was very stuffy.
Disney boulders –built by the same company that built the boulders/mountains for Disneyland.
View from inside those “caves” that sent up blasts of air.
Air chamber that expands & deflates throughout the day as the temperatures rise & lower. As soon as the door to this chamber was opened we could immediately see it start to deflate & lower.
Outside of the air chamber.
Very exterior of the air chamber.
This tour was a little over an hour and does require a bit of walking through different temperature areas. Overall we found it very interesting. Piece of information that stood out the most: The only other known biosphere is Earth, Biosphere 1.