A Tour of Biosphere 2
Discover a whole new world within our own world at the Biosphere 2 located just outside of Tucson. This incredible structure is an engineering marvel straight out of the pages of a science fiction book.
Imagine an oversized greenhouse that is completely self-sustained. Here you’ll find a controlled environment and a variety of habitats such as desert, rainforest, ocean, and mangroves.
The Biosphere 2 project was built in the 1980s to simulate the environment of Earth, dubbed as Biosphere 1. This airtight replica of the earth’s environment was funded by multi-millionaire Edward Bass. Visions of colonizing the moon and Mars were the inspiration behind this $150 million experiment. By creating an airtight structure and sealing people inside of it, the designers hoped to discover the problems that could occur when living in such an enclosed environment.
Two teams of Biospherians lived in the Biosphere. The first team spent two years sealed into this 7.2 million cubic square foot glass structure. They encountered various problems including limited agricultural productivity and air leaks. The second team of Biospherians suffered socially and was pulled from Biosphere 2 before the 2-year term was up. The Biosphere 2 Project became the subject of much ridicule and lost a great deal of credibility over this. There are no future plans for human habitation in Biosphere 2.
Since the experiments were suspended, Biosphere 2 opened for tours in November of 1996 and is now a tourist attraction complete with hands-on science activities. The Biosphere 2 has been upgraded with a conference center, parking, visitor’s center, theatre, and gift shop.
Biosphere 2 Guided Tour
A guided tour “under the glass” will take your breath away as you look down into the rain forest pyramid before seeing the self-contained mini-world spread out before you. You’ll be taken into this incredible world where you’ll stand on a cliff above the saltwater ocean. You’ll wind your way through the savannahs, tropical thorn scrub, the desert, and the techno-sphere where all the controls are located. You’ll go into the south lung complex and learn about the “lungs” which prevent the Biosphere 2 from imploding. You’ll also go to an underwater viewing exhibit.
Curious how the Biospherians lived and worked? You’ll see their living quarters, their farm, and their kitchen. A $200,000 trail system throughout the Biosphere lets you get up close and personal to the various parts of this world.
A self-guided tour is available for touring the exterior of the Biosphere but keep in mind, you won’t get to go under the glass unless you take the guided tour.
The Biosphere 2 is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information visit the Biosphere 2 website.
32540 South Biosphere Road
Tucson, AZ 85623
Reservations are required for groups of 20 or more.