Photo Credit: "De köpte ett bergrum i Söderhamn och började odla", P4 Gävle, Sveriges Radio, 7 februari 2018.

Dark Biosphere

Lettuce grows in the ground.
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Growing plants in an underground space that serves as a greenhouse, in artificial grow light instead of daylight, has turned into a green hobby – a type of gardening independent of any climate or environmental impact. A closed ecosystem is established in humid underground, similar to that of mines or caves.

Cotton grows on the moon. 

The first cotton sprout has sprouted aboard the Chinese lunar lander Chang'e 4, which landed on the far side of the moon on January 3, 2019. Scientists are investigating whether life can thrive on the moon, sending seeds from cotton, rapeseed, potatoes and Arabidopsis. Banana flies also joined the mission as well as yeast. Arabidopsis is a small flowering plant and a model organism for research in plant biology.

Together, these six species form a biosphere. The plants provide oxygen for the banana flies, which in turn provide the plants with carbon dioxide. The yeast helps with decomposition and serves as food for banana flies. Life in the biosphere is followed by a camera. The main challenge for the small moon colony is plant growth in low gravity, concerning future space colonisation. Both underground and far side of the moon cultivations share darkness.


On January 16, 2019, the South China Morning Post reported all the seeds had died after being exposed to the far side’s extreme night temperatures.