Biosphere 2 - Where man controls Nature
Oracle Travel Blog› entry 21 of 71 › view all entries
It was a lazy Sunday with great weather outside, my mission to explore Arizona still unfinished I decided to find a place I have not visited outside of Tucsonâ��s perimeter. I came up with two options; the Tohono Chul Park and Biosphere 2. I got online to find additional information on each and finally decided Biosphere 2 was it. I called ahead to make sure there was a tour I could join, the lady who politely answered the phone went ahead to give me additional information on pricing and hours of each tour including duration.Coffee in hand, I jumped into my Toyota and headed north on Kolb towards grant and onto skyline. Skyline lead me to the intersection of Ina and Oracle. A left turn on Oracle was pretty much my second last turn to the location of scienceâ��s home.
I joined the 11:45 a.m. tour, which was to last an hour and a half. The group I joined included visitors from Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, England, New York, Michigan, France, Texas and Phoenix. Our tour guide was one of the scientists who lives at the Biosphere and takes part in the on going research, he is as knowledgeable on the subject matter as no other scientist could be. We learned through the tour that the science experiment was a private venture by John Polk Allen and Margaret Augustine whose initial idea of the structure was for artificial closed ecological system.
It is said that this is the place where science lives, you have to see it to really grasp the meaning of the statement "where science lives". It is the worldâ��s largest center for scientific research, outreach, teaching, and life-long learning about Earth and its living systems. Some have referred to it as science under glass or life beyond the biodome. It is indeed an experiment that reminds me of manâ��s constant need to understand certain things that God never meant for us to understand.
The structure is massive, twice the size of a football field it surely qualifies to be the largest man made, man controlled closed system ever built. Walking through it was the tour progressed, I could not tell the difference in the air from the outside besides the humidity levels. The sealed environment allows scientists to monitor the continuously changing chemistry of air, water and soil contained within the structure.
But the more interesting discovery by the scientists as they experimented was not about the human condition at all. It was the surprising finding that trees need exercise to survive. Apparently, because there was no wind within the Biosphere, the trees became very weak and began to flop, we saw one such tree in the fruit orchard. What I particularly found fascinating as the tour guide explained things was how the cacti lived and survived on the trees in the desert yet did not give back to the trees, interesting phenomena.O' in case you are wondering where biosphere 1 is, it is the current environment you live in; Earth as it is right now with all the pollution, fumes etc. Check out my review on Biospher 2 for additional information and photographs. Enjoy!.