A little bit pitch drop experiment, a little bit Michael Apted, a little bit genetic repository: William Beal’s 142-year-old seed viability experiment, reported by Nell Greenfieldboyce.

A microbiologist named Richard Lenski looked on. “The others were digging and trying to figure everything out, and I sort of held the map and held it under my jacket to keep it dry at one point. That was my hard work,” says Lenski. “I was wondering if cops might show up at some point.”