The Fate of Biosphere 2

By Deane Barker on June 20, 2006

Bio Bust: Remember the Biosphere 2? It’s finally being demolished to make room for a housing development. I remember this was all over the news in the late eighties.

(And remember the “2.” You see, the Earth itself is “Biosphere 1,” so this was named “Biosphere 2” since it was, like…the second. I didn’t get that at the time. I thought there was another one of these greenhouse-thingies lying around somewhere.)

Looks like Biosphere 2, the world’s largest terrarium, may soon be history. Reporter Joseph Barrios of the morning daily broke the news last week that Fairfield Homes is making a deal to buy the Biosphere’s spectacular 1,600 acres to develop a master-planned community. Evidently, a three-acre simulation of the planet isn’t a selling point for buyers of luxury homes these days.

Did anything ever come of that project? I remember it being very cool and futuristic, but did we really learn anything. Or was it just an excuse for Pauly Shore to make another movie?



  1. In related news, the last stand of trees on Easter Island has been sold (some time in the mid 1500s). The buyer, a canoe builder, didn’t see the point in having a stand of trees that wasn’t being actively managed (clear cut).

  2. I heard that someone of the project wrote cookbook of how to use a bananas 100th different way.

  3. Jane Poynter, one of the people inside during the first mission, just came out with a book. The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2. It talks about the science and human dynamics (I guess they had a hard time in there).

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