With an asteroid on course with Earth to coincide with the 2020 election, Oreo has decided to build an impenetrable bunker…for their biscuits.
Asteroid 2018 VP1 Is scheduled to graze Earth on November 2, the day before the United States elections (because of course, it is). According to Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, “our story begins a couple of years ago, on November 3, 2018. That night, the Zwicky Transient Facility at Palomar Observatory in Southern California discovered a faint new ‘near-Earth asteroid’ – an object whose orbit can approach, or cross, that of our planet.
“What does that mean for Earth? Well, it turns out the closest approach between the two this year will be somewhere between a direct hit and an enormous miss – with the asteroid coming no closer than 3.7 million km!
“We can also work out the likelihood the asteroid will hit Earth during this close approach. The odds are 0.41%, or roughly 1 in 240. In other words, by far the most likely outcome on November 2 is the asteroid will sail straight past us.”
Oreo, however, isn’t taking any chances. The maker of the chocolate-and-crème sandwich cookies has built a doomsday vault in Norway to house its cookies in preparation for the “Election Day asteroid.”
The vault design is inspired by the famous Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic that houses the largest concentration of agricultural diversity anywhere on Earth, meant for preserving the world’s botanical legacy against natural or human-caused disasters. Oreo’s vault is a lot smaller but signifies the cookie company’s commitment to an impressive PR stunt.
The odds are 0.41%, or roughly 1 in 240. In other words, by far the most likely outcome on November 2 is the asteroid will sail straight past us.
The advertisement that unveiled the vault claims that it is situated on permafrost at the coordinates 78°08’58.1″N, 16°01’59.7″E, not far from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
The promotion video, full of dramatic performances you might expect to find in a disaster film, explains that the idea for the Global Oreo Vault project came from a cookie fan’s tweet on October 3, where she asked: “If the Election Day asteroid reaches Earth, who will save the Oreos?” As it 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 zero threat to both humans and cookies on Earth, but it is nice to know that in a world that feels increasingly apocalyptic, there is still room for light-hearted absurdity. Or snacks that make you hate yourself immediately afterwards.