They took a gigantic lifeless abandoned mining pit and turned it into the garden of Eden.
nothin' better to do, probably.
I tell you it's amazing. The whole pit is now full of lush green plants of every imaginable kind BUT, as if that weren't cool enough, they decided to go ahead and build a few giant biomes, because hey, there's nothing good on TV right now. They're the biggest greenhouses in the world! Here's a before and after for part of it:
It's called the Eden Project. And outside, it's England, where the weather hardly ever throws you a bone, but inside....paradise! Like, literally, tropical paradise. With waterfalls and exotic birds and lush, beautiful plants from every tropical environment. It's been called the Eighth Wonder of the World.
I can't begin to give you a sense of scale. It's huge -- like, imagine a huge greenhouse, the biggest your imagination can muster.
It's way bigger than that.
It takes over an hour to walk around one biome. It's got little villages inside. It's got waterfalls and huts and birds and you're walking around in a rainforest and then you look up and remember there's a roof on this thing. And oh it's so hot and humid that they have a little Cold Room in the middle of it for "emergencies".
Marc even got to meet ayahuasca, the psychotropic plant he wrote his thesis about. It's native to the Amazon, but, you know, we're growin' it here in the UK. no big deal.
Outside there's lot of amazing stuff, too. The whole goal was to combine science and art into a celebration of the world's plant life. And while you're walking around being amazed they're actually stealthily teaching you a lot about plants and world environments. It's an education-driven non-profit.
It's kind of like Disneyland, in that you walk around delighted and dumbstruck, and you're thinking, what the heck: this whole magical place exists because one visionary person was like, "You know what? I'm gonna do it, dammit! I'm gonna take this nasty mining pit and turn it into the garden of Eden, and nothing's gonna stop me!"
I think some of the greatest advice in my own life has been THINK BIG. It's harder than it seems. But then, after you've dreamed up all kinds of grand schemes, the next challenge is to actually do something about it. I think there are a lot of dreamers in the world who can come up with really cool ideas. And then there are a lot of people who are highly motivated doers who make things happen. And then, every once in a while there's someone who does both, and ohhhh boy.
I tip my hat to you, Tim Smit. Thanks for the overdose of inspiration.