Oreo, maker of the legendary chocolate-and-creme sandwich cookies, may be overreacting a little.
Asteroid 2018 VP1 is scheduled to graze Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the US elections. It has a real but exceedingly slim (0.41%) possibility of entering our planet's atmosphere, at which point it would harmlessly disintegrate. But Oreo isn't taking any chances. The company has built a concrete doomsday vault in Norway to house its cookies.
The vault design is inspired by the famous seed vault in the Arctic that's meant to preserve the world's botanical legacy against natural or human-caused disasters. Oreo's version is much smaller, but it shows the cookie company's commitment to riding out a truly epic PR stunt.
A video (filled with actor portrayals and one real astronomer) shows off the vault, which is located on permafrost at the coordinates 78°08'58.1"N, 16°01'59.7"E, not far from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
The Global Oreo Vault project was supposedly kicked off by cookie fan Olivia Gordon's offhand tweet on Oct. 3 asking the key question: If the Election Day asteroid reaches Earth, who will save the Oreos? Turns out Oreo (and its parent company Mondelez International) will.
"As an added precaution, the Oreo packs are wrapped in mylar, which can withstand temperatures from -80 degrees to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and is impervious to chemical reactions, moisture and air, keeping the cookies fresh and protected for years to come," Oreo said in a statement on Friday.
The "Election Day asteroid" poses no threat to humans or cookies on Earth, but it's heartening to know there's still room for some delightful absurdity in a world that feels increasingly apocalyptic.