Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, Western US

The Arizona Desert: Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 Steps to Dome, Pinal County, AZ, 2022

Biosphere 2 received widespread publicity/notoriety in the late 1990s due to a two-year mission that locked eight “biospherians” inside the structure to attempt to replicate earth’s atmosphere, living only on the available resources. Unfortunately, the data collected during the experiment was never accepted by the scientific community, due primarily to lack of transparency by the management at the time regarding the interference necessary to maintain the project. The facility is located just less than an hour from downtown Tucson, and is now operated by the University of Arizona.

Biosphere 2 Exterior, Pinal County, AZ, 2022

While the section of the facility that was used primarily for farming is now utilized for new research, much of Biosphere 2 still includes the original interior, including the large rainforest and ocean biomes. An entire coral reef was created and sustained during the two-year mission. Today, they are attempting to repopulate the reef to include giant clams for research.

Biosphere 2 Exterior, Pinal County, AZ, 2022

The beginning of the interior tour includes the biospherian’s kitchen and one of the original living quarters.

Biosphere 2 Tour, Pinal County, AZ, 2022

Admission includes an app-based video tour that had just the right amount of information at each stop. This includes information on how the Biosphere was built, how the biospherians lived inside for two years, and how the research facility is being used by University of Arizona today to study the water cycle.

Biosphere 2, Pinal County, AZ, 2022

Edible plants still grow throughout the facility, including bananas, limes, papayas, and coffee. The team could only grow enough coffee beans for a weak cup every 2 weeks. Which, amongst many other reasons, would automatically exclude me from the project.

Biosphere 2 Exterior, Pinal County, AZ, 2022

For anyone who was a teenager at the time it is hard not to call it “Biodome,” due to the 1996 widely-panned Pauly Shore (need I say more) movie.

More Posts about the Western US

Leave a Reply