The Doctor and her companions, Yaz, Graham and Ryan, are having a tough time trying to decide where to go on holiday (they can go anywhere in time or space, after all!)

But when Graham’s potted plant sends out a desperate distress call, all their plans have to be shelved. Humph!

Far away in the coldest spot in the universe is the Galactic Seed Vault – a treasure trove of plant specimens from across the galaxy. And hidden inside Vault 13 is the Genesis Seed, a long forgotten secret that could be the key to life or a weapon that could destroy the universe. Uh-oh!

Only the Doctor and her buds can save the day. Can they break into this remote vault before the ancient Gardeners of Tellus get to it? And will they do what nobody has managed before and return alive?

 

All about seeds

The Galactic Seed Vault may hold a galaxy worth of plant specimens, but back here on Earth, seeds are pretty important, too! Here are seven super facts about seeds:

 

The biggest seed in the world belongs to the lodoicea – also known as the sea coconut. They can only be found on two islands in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, and can weigh up to a whopping 19kg!

 

The oldest still-growable seed was found in 2005 near Masada, Israel. The date palm seed was over 2000 years old, but after being planted it managed to grow to over 2-m-tall.

 

On earth we have our own special seed deposit. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was created in 2008 to protect crops against extinction and as humanity’s last hope if there’s a worldwide disaster.

 

The vault is home to more than 968,000 varieties of food crops. These have been collected from every country in the world – including places like North Korea and war-torn Syria!

 

It is located 150-m-deep inside a mountain on the island of Svalbard, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

 

The icy cold location was chosen because the permafrost that surrounds the mountain acts a a fail-safe method to keep the seeds below freezing if the freezers should fail. The vault is a cool -18ºC.

 

Seed banks like this are important as they improve resistance to plant diseases and insects, are a safety net against disasters like floods or droughts, and will help feed the global population as it continues to grow.

 

 

Win! We’re giving away five signed copies of this amazing book. Click here to find out how to enter.

 

Available from 1 NOVEMBER 2018. Head over to Amazon.co.uk to grab your copy.
Doctor Who logo and insignia © BBC 2018. Licensed by BBC Worldwide Ltd t/a BBC Studios.

 

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