Human history stored in cave for million years for future civilisations to find

An ancient salt mine deep under the earth is hiding a mysterious project to store our global history.

Memory of Mankind, in Hallstatt, Austria, is designed to be discoverable by future humans so long as they have technology as advanced as we had in the 1980s.

And with fears of World War 3 growing ever stronger with Vladimir Putin's nuclear threats as he invades Ukraine, it could be needed more than ever.

The idea is to "leave more than nuclear waste, global warming, and countless energy drink cans" for a "civilization far beyond the digital age", according to its website.

In the video above, the outside of the mine looks completely unremarkable and is just a hole in the ground behind an old cottage.

The camera then dives through the abyss and down a railway track that goes dizzyingly deep into the earth.

Here, there are boxes upon boxes full of "high-tech ceramic" which has elements of human history laser-printed into them – such as the entire Harry Potter series.

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They are designed to still be perfectly readable one million years into the future – a long time after the iPhone 13 is obsolete.

For context, modern humans have only been around for 300,000 years, so a million years from now surviving humans will probably speak a language that would sound alien to us today and look unrecognisable.

Within two generations the salt mine will naturally seal itself shut, waiting to be discovered again with the help of mysterious treasure maps left on circular tokens you can fit in the palm of your hand – giving the coordinates.

The project is currently asking people to nominate their favourite books with the aim of transcribing 1,000 stories onto ceramic to stand the ultimate test of time.

Martin Kunze, the creator of Memory of Mankind, has firmly said it's "not a doomsday project" but a reaction to the vulnerability of data, which quickly gets deleted or lost.

In a Ted Talk from 2017, he explained: "Ceramic tablets carry analog information that means texts are letters and images are photos.

"These ceramic tablets are the most durable data carriers we have ever used: they are resistant to high heat and pressure, water and chemicals, radiation, magnetism."

While some viewers called him a "genius" and "one of the most important men of our time", others were more sceptical.

One person said: "Everything that exists and is shared today is important.

"You assume people in the future will spend time digging through old rubbish."

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