The Real Story Behind The Biodome Experiment That Went Wrong

“I wish someone would pay me to live on a desolate island!” you’ve probably heard someone remark. Of course, it’s tempting to disconnect from all of life’s minor irritations, unplug from the barrage of social media, and simply luxuriate in lovely isolation. But how would you respond if you were expected to do it for two years?

In one of the most costly scientific studies in modern history, eight participants were given that opportunity in 1991. The study’s participants finally spoke up after spending two years in an extraordinary biodome about how living within the building was truly like.

When flying over the mountains of Oracle, Arizona, you could notice something that stands out from the rest of the landscape. It appears more like something out of EPCOT center, with glass pyramids and textured domes.

What you’ve found is called Biosphere 2 and it’s a small planet. What is the origin of the name? Because, of course, Earth is Biosphere 1! This uniquely structured facility was formerly the site of a contentious scientific experiment that took place in the late 1980s.

Exploring University of Arizona's Biosphere 2 in Tucson, Arizona

The 1980s were a remarkably upbeat decade in which individuals were increasingly interested in learning about the world around them. The concept of building and analyzing man-made ecosystems began to gain traction, although Biosphere 2’s ambition was arguably overly optimistic.

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Their ambition was absolutely out of this planet. The project’s researchers hoped that their research will aid mankind in learning how to construct living ecosystems in space, in preparation for future colonization of the moon or possibly Mars! However, optimism alone will not be enough to construct such a large structure.

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Surprisingly, a wealthy Texas oil magnate called Ed Bass, who was interested in charity, sponsored this large environmental experiment. The budget ballooned well beyond anyone’s expectations, yet Biosphere 2 was awe-inspiring.

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The insides of the glass-walled pyramids were brimming with lush plant life, with each section of the complex resembling a different “biome” from across the world, replete with animals and insects. It wasn’t only on the ground, either.

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A 9,100-square-foot artificial ocean with a man-made coral reef is housed inside Biosphere 2, allowing visitors to see a healthy underwater life. This is stunning enough, but the complex’s crowning treasure was much more so.

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In the midst of Arizona, you wouldn’t expect to find anything tropical, but the complex’s largest biome was a 20,000-square-foot rainforest. All that was left was to figure out who would stay in the domes, which included everything from savannas to marshes to agricultural areas.

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As if the entire concept didn’t seem like something out of a science-fiction novel, the eight individuals chosen to live within the domes were dubbed “Biospherians” and wore “futuristic” jumpsuits similar to those seen in Star Trek. The media had a field day when they learned about this.

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The project began in 1991 and immediately sparked a firestorm of criticism. These eight people had agreed to spend the next two years willingly shutting themselves within an airtight dome with no contact with the outside world. There was only one minor snag…

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John Allen, the man behind the whole thing, was the founder of a new-age think tank called Synergia Ranch, not a scientist or an environmentalist. As others began to investigate Allen’s qualifications, they discovered some material that added to the project’s detractors.

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Back in the 1960s, Allen was known by another moniker: Johnny Dolphin. He managed the “Theater of All Possibilities,” a counterculture commune, under that name. He was simply a well-connected hippy who lacked any other qualifications! Surprisingly, the experiment’s troubles began very immediately.

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Despite the fact that it was designed to be a self-sustaining habitat, food rapidly became an issue. They were emaciated due to their diet of yams, bananas, and other low-calorie crops, and many of the farm animals they brought in died or had to be butchered for food.

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Do you know what else is essential for survival? Air! Because the domes were sealed, the oxygen levels in the domes began to decline, causing many Biospherians to become ill. Things were only going to get worse from here.

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The attendees were also starting to feel a little bored. After being trapped with each other for so long with no contact with the outside world, they began to turn on each other, forming alliances as if they were on a reality TV program.

The Truth About The Biodome Experiment Gone Wrong (Error) (Error) -

The Biosphereians eventually broke into two factions: one that sought to loosen some of the project’s limits, and the other that wanted to stick to their original ideals. Things weren’t looking good when the two years were done. FITZ - Hotbox Weed Box Gift Bundle - Ultimate Party Games for Adults - Perfect Stoner Gifts Set - Fun Adult Card Games - A Novelty Bundle Pack : Toys & Games

The severe environment of living in solitude within Biosphere 2 had taken its toll on the participants’ bodies at the end of the experiment. Many of them were emaciated, and the project was regarded a costly failure by the rest of the world. However, not everyone participating in the project felt the same way.

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Even after all of the challenges and battles, some Biospherians wanted to keep the project going! “Everything was going swimmingly. Sally Silverstone, one of the participants, said, “I wanted to see what would happen next.” People are beginning to perceive the experiment in a new light years from now.

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Biosphere 2 continues to operate as a research center where fresh discoveries about Earth’s many ecosystems are produced. It was not a success in terms of determining whether interplanetary colonization was viable. If anything, the project demonstrated one crucial point.

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The attitude of hope that led to such a large-scale enterprise can still be beneficial to humanity. In reality, many people are already doing their own experiments based on the Biosphereians’ work.

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Kurtis Bauste has a popular YouTube channel where he utilizes the internet to educate people about environmental concerns and science via fun activities. And he has the requisite education to do so..

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He has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and a terrific sense of humour, which keeps people coming back for more. He aims to make science more approachable since he understands that it might be intimidating to certain individuals.

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Kurtis’ video proving the Earth’s roundness was one of his most popular. He didn’t even have to go into space to accomplish it. He rode his bike to work!

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With just the aforementioned bike and two rods, Baute was able to build sundials with shadows throughout the course of a long bike ride, proving that Flat-Earthers had no claim to the Earth.

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He also tried a 24-hour experiment in which he didn’t touch any plastic. Because so much of his clothing and common household things included plastic, it became practically difficult. However, this is the knowledge he wishes to disseminate.

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He conducts seminars all around the world about the scientific reasoning behind his YouTube videos. He simplifies his work’s intricacy so that it may be understood by laypeople. He’s even been compared to another well-known scientist.

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That’s Bill Nye, the scientific guru! Bill Nye became famous for making science enjoyable for everyone, not just scientists, and Kurtis was happy to follow in his footsteps. Despite his achievements, though, he was troubled by one particular concern.

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Kurtis was well aware that global warming was a major concern for everyone. Even though some people do not believe it is a man-made problem, science has repeatedly demonstrated that it is a problem that must be addressed immediately if our planet is to continue to support life.

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Of course, he’d heard how extreme climate activists attached themselves to trees and sat in front of bulldozers to make their point, but he felt he’d start on a smaller, more manageable scale.

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And he knew where to start: a few years ago, he had put dirt and plants in a little sealed container. He noted that the plants remained absolutely healthy after months of being left alone. As a result, he got a crazy notion.

He reasoned that if plants could survive on carbon dioxide in a totally enclosed environment, humans would be able to thrive on the oxygen created by the flora in that artificial “biodome.” As a result, he began work on a human-sized “jar.”

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The “Kurtis In A Jar” project got off to a great start. He told his Twitter followers that he was going to lock himself in an airtight container with plants and rely on their oxygen to survive.

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Baute’s human greenhouse was done and looked fantastic after weeks of diligent preparation. He planned to survive for three days on the oxygen given by the plants, despite the fact that he only had 1,000 square feet of space.

The Truth About The Biodome Experiment Gone Wrong (Error) (Error) -

With his fingers crossed, Baute entered his man-made air-tight enclosure on October 24, 2018. He could live without fresh air if he wanted, but he couldn’t live without WiFi, which he required to capture the event.

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He intended to be in constant contact with a camera and YouTube so he could explain everything that happened to viewers during his stay. He began tweeting and shooting as soon as the door was shut.

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He wanted people to understand how serious climate change was and what they could do to assist minimize their carbon footprints. Humans pump massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is exceedingly harmful.

Although Baute understood that people exhaled more carbon dioxide than they inhaled, he thought that the plants would be able to manage the levels in his dome, despite the fact that carbon dioxide levels would grow.

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Baute would obviously abandon the operation if the trousers failed to manage carbon dioxide levels and it proved too unsafe to continue. Unfortunately, his plan was thwarted by something very unexpected.


Baute called it quits after only 14 hours when unexpected clouds swept in, preventing the plants from pumping out the oxygen he needed to thrive. Nonetheless, he was delighted with the outcomes.

The study demonstrated that climate change is real, and that until we start caring for our environment properly, fossil fuels and other harmful substances would continue to cause havoc. Kurtis Baute’s pleas, fortunately, are shared by many others.

Kurtis Baute - YouTube

Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish girl who has just two aims in life: to raise awareness about humanity’s negative impacts on the environment and to put a stop to climate change.

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Her parents are Malena Ernman, a famous opera singer, and Svante Thunberg, a Swedish actor, thus she didn’t arise out of nowhere to get her present fame.

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But just because Greta was born into an affluent family doesn’t mean she had it easy growing up. She suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Select Mutism, which means she becomes mute when she is distressed.

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Despite the fact that she has struggled with her illnesses in the past, she claims that her ASD has helped her see “nearly everything in black and white” and that she only speaks when she needs to… which is now.

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Greta was only eight years old when she first heard about climate change, and she was afraid. It all began when her school showed her documentaries on plastic pollution, hungry polar bears, and a slew of natural calamities.

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“I cried through all the movies,” she remarked. “My classmates were concerned when they watched the films, but when they stopped, they started thinking about other things. I couldn’t do that; those pictures were stuck in my head.”

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Greta became despondent and ceased communicating in the years that followed, unable to escape the vision of the world’s imminent destruction. She felt as though she was dying since she didn’t think there was anything she could do.

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She went vegan and determined to never travel again to reduce her personal carbon impact. When she pleaded with her parents to do the same, they consented, both for the sake of the earth and their child’s happiness.

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Then, in the summer of 2018, Europe was tortured by a heat wave for weeks on end, to the point that flames broke out in Sweden, which is nearly unheard of due to the country’s chilly climate. It was the final straw for Greta…

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She skipped school, made a sign, and rode her bike to Stockholm’s central station to protest in front of the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament), speaking with everyone who would listen… those who didn’t, and even those who didn’t.

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She returned the next day to find that others had joined her after sitting there alone from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Soon after, hordes of people surrounded Mary, keeping her company and assisting her in spreading her message.

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So, what did she have to say? She primarily wished for the Swedish government to comply with the Paris Agreement by reducing carbon emissions. She inquired, “Why should I be studying for a future when no one is doing anything whatsoever to save that future?”

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Her parents, understandably, did not approve of her cutting class, but her mother remarked, “We respect that she wants to make a stand. She can either sit at home and be really unhappy or protest, skip school for a cause, and be happy.”

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Greta’s efforts were quickly picked up by hundreds of news sources and thousands of social media users, and she was invited to give a TED presentation about the perspective of the younger generation, who will be the most affected.

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“I want you to panic,” “I told international leaders,” she claimed. “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then, I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire – because it is.”

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Greta advised similar teenagers all across the world to do what she did: walk out of class and protest for their futures, an idea inspired by the Parkland survivors who founded the March For Our Lives in the United States.

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And, without a doubt, on March 15, 2019, students from over 2,000 schools in 127 countries took part in the Global Climate Strike. That didn’t even include the months of demonstrations building up to it!

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“Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that we have ever faced,” Greta remarked. “The main solution, however, is so simple that even a child can understand it: we have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

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Her comments and deeds had such an impact that Norwegian MP Freddy Andre vstegrd nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize. She would be the youngest person to ever win the prize if she wins in October 2019, given she is a year younger than Malala.

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“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change, it will be the cause of wars, famine, and disease,” vstegrd said. “She has launched a mass movement, which I see as a major contribution to peace.”

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She has previously received awards for Young Role Model of the Year, Sweden’s Most Important Woman of the Year, and the French Freedom Prize in the meanwhile. But most crucially, she raised awareness of a major catastrophe among hundreds of millions of people.

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Greta’s cause is far from over, so we’ll probably be seeing her a lot more in the future. “If a few children can make headlines all over the world just by not going to school for a few weeks,” she explained, “imagine what we could all do together if we wanted to?”

While we may not all be renowned climate change activists, we can all do our part to rescue the earth on a personal level. One guy in India demonstrated how a single person can make a huge effect…

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He was born and raised on the Indian island of Majuli, which is part of the Brahmaputra river system in northeast India. Nearly 140 communities have been developed on the island, and Majuli is home to over 150,000 people. But they aren’t the only features that distinguish this island…

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Majuli is the biggest river island in the world. These unique islands are just massive sand bars that grow along a riverbed; in some cases, the sand bars are so large that people may live on them, as is the case with Majuli.

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What is the reason for the change? Because massive embankments were erected up the river during the monsoon season (July to September) to protect larger communities from floods. As a result, the riverbanks do not flood naturally, and all of the surplus water is directed down the river to Majuli.

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The island’s area for the 150,000 people is shrinking as the river water erodes it. Over 35 villages have been wiped away since 1991, causing residents to flee their sole home.

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The whole island of Majuli will be entirely submerged over the next 20 years, according to Indian authorities, and the 140 communities that remain will be lost forever. Their anxieties will become a reality if they do not take action now.

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People aren’t the only ones who have been affected. The catastrophic flooding has had a devastating effect on animals, resulting in several deaths. In fact, during the previous five years, the snake population has decreased by 45 percent!

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When the river swamped the island, the snakes were picked up and carried downstream. The snakes were placed onto treeless sandbars near Majuli, where they were exposed to the scorching heat and harsh Indian sun.

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One guy in particular, Jadav Payeng of Majuli’s Mising tribe, grew up seeing the island’s shrinking. He watched as communities vanished, animals were ripped from their homes, and the residents became more frightened.

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Jadav grew up loving outdoors, animals (including snakes), and anything that flourished. From an early age, this had an influence on him, and it inspired his interest in environmental advocacy and forestry conservation.

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He was adamant about saving the island, not just for himself, but for his family and tribe as well. So, at the age of 16, he made the decision to devote his life’s effort to preserving Majuli. It was no easy task for him…

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He began planting trees one day in 1979. He was able to get seeds and go to a wide, desolate area of Majuli. He dug a little hole with a stick, dropped them in, and let nature take care of the rest.

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He understood that planting one tree wouldn’t make much of a difference, so he came back day after day and planted as many trees as he could. His goal was that the trees would grow tall with strong roots, holding the dirt in place and preventing erosion on the island.

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He’d planted a huge forest on the island, tens of thousands of trees, after 40 years of steady labour. This endeavor resulted in a forest that was far larger than Central Park in New York!

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Molai Woodland was a fitting name for the forest. He claimed that once he was able to seed from the trees that already existed in his forest, planting trees became considerably easier. Despite this, Jadav faced challenges on a daily basis…

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Animals returned to the region as his forest continued to flourish. This region of Majuli is currently home to elephants, Bengal tigers, and rhinos, to mention a few. Poachers resurfaced as a concern with the reintroduction of animals, according to Jadav.

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According to Jadav, “All species on this planet are animals, including humans. There are no monsters in nature except for humans. Humans consume everything until there is nothing left.”

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He was given the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor, in 2015. He was also honored by several other local Indian businesses for dedicated his life to the Majuli language.

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Nonetheless, Jadav was dissatisfied with the lack of genuine assistance he had got. He recommended growing coconut trees since they are robust and straight, which would help anchor the soil and enhance the economy, all within five years. Unfortunately, his plan was not taken up.

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Jadav was adamant about not giving up. He had visions of Majuli returning to the beautiful green forest it had been before people had ruined it so radically. He was convinced that he could preserve Majuli Island. According to him, “I will continue to plant until my last breath.”

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