There was the world’s most expensive hard drive with an astronomical price tag of 4.4 million dollars. Now there is another hard drive that has been developed to last a million years. Developed by French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA, the sapphire disk consists of two thin sheets, about 20 centimeters wide, in which information is engraved using platinum. According to the agency, the goal is to provide “information for future archaeologists.” However, the company also quotes, “We have no idea what language to write it in.” With the sapphire disk, up to 40,000 miniaturized pages of text or images can be inscribed in the platinum — and all you need to read the data is a microscope, which hopefully future civilizations will still have access to. A prototype model is already ready which has been developed at a cost of $31,000.
The basic need for such insanely durable storage solutions stems from our use of nuclear power. Nuclear reactors produce radioactive waste that needs to be safely stored for up to 1 million years. Once we finally choose a disposal method (mile-deep boreholes are likely to win), we need some way of warning future societies where we’ve buried the waste.
[Sciencemag and Tecca and Image – Wikipedia]