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$30,000 hard disk stores data for 10 million years, say nuclear scientists

Sapphire hard drive lasts 10 million years

Want to back up your music collection for millions of years? Now you can, thanks to a group of nuclear scientists who created a hard drive that they claim will keep your data safe and sound long after you’re gone from this world.

Created by French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA, the ultra-durable hard disk was made to provide vital information to future generations, reports Science. Specifically, said ANDRA’s Patrick Charton at the Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin, Ireland, this week, the hard disk will hopefully warn “future archaeologists” not to dig in nuclear waste disposal sites. Just one problem: They don’t have any idea “what language to write the information in,” says Charton.

Possible future calamities aside, the real tragedy here is that you probably won’t ever get your hands on one of these tenacious little gizmos. The prototype storage device, which is made of thin-cut sapphire, cost more than $30,000 to produce. Each of the two sapphire disks that make up the futuristic storage unit measure 8-inches (20cm) across, and have text or images etched in platinum. Charton says they can hold the equivalent of up to 40,000 pages of text. 

Obviously, this isn’t an invention for the average person, or even the average situation. But we are quite pleased to know that there are people thinking about things like how to talk to the future of humanity — even if we won’t be around to see how it goes. 

Image via Monocrystal