Who Built the Silo & How Many Are There?

who built the Silo and how many are there
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Now that the final episode of Apple TV’s ‘Silo‘ got released, we’re eagerly awaiting the second season. Episode 10, aptly titled ‘Outside,’ showed us Juliette walking away from the Silo, surviving longer than anyone in the history of Silo 18, and the structures that can be seen in the surrounding area seem like numerous other Silo entrances. The world presented in Hugh Howey’s novels is complicated, and the show answered only a few questions during its 10-episode run. This is why we decided to bring you the answer to the question, who exactly built the Silo & how many Silos are there in total. 

Silo was built by Congressman Donald Keene and Senator Paul Thurman for the purpose of the WOOL program (World Order Operation Fifty) in case of an extremely destructive event that threatened to wipe out human civilization. 50 Silos were built to sustain the human population for the next 500 years. 49 Silos house the general population, while Silo 1, the principal Silo, controls all other Silos. 

Watch on Apple TV

Now that we’ve given you a brief overview of the facts, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!

Editor’s Note: Please beware that the following paragraphs contain heavy spoilers for the events that took place in the Silo Series of books that the show was based on. If you want to avoid spoilers, now would be a good time to stop reading!

Silos were designed as a safe space for the survivors of an extinction-level event 

Apple TV’s Silo tv show did little to answer the burning question that’s on everybody’s minds. Why are those poor people trapped in those huge silos, and why aren’t they aware of the outside world and what civilization looked like? 

Since we can’t exactly find the answers in the series, and episode 10 sort of ended up on a cliffhanger, we’re going to have to consult the source material. The books written by Hugh Howey that the show is based on hold all the answers, especially book 2, titled ‘Shift.’ 

The events of ‘Silo’ started several centuries before the current timeline of the series. And the project started with an idea, World Order Operation Fifty, also known as ‘WOOL.’ 

If nuclear detonations didn’t wipe out humans, they would be wiped out by nanotechnology 

One of the key players in the second book is Donald Keene. Donald Keene is actually the person that designed the silos urged by Senator Paul Thurman. Keene designed the silos to serve as shelters for the workers working with nuclear waste as a part of the CAD-FAC (Containment and Disposal Facility) project. The silos were supposed to be self-sustaining and completely sealed. And Donald will get to use them himself, believe it or not. 

50 Silos in total were built in Fulton County, Georgia, which seemed a bit redundant, and even though Donald questioned the whole reasoning behind the project and even got progressively more paranoid as time passed by, he still accepted the project and finished it. 

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Soon after the Silos were built, Donald & Thurman attended Democratic National Convention at the site where the silos were built, and at the same time, nuclear strikes annihilated all of Atlanta. Donald and Thurman immediately make their way toward the Silo 1 to shelter them from the upcoming fallout. 

How many silos were built in total? 

There were 50 silos built, with 49 silos housing the general population and one silo housing Thurman, Donald, and the rest of the people that are considered the leaders of this twisted project.

Silo 1 population is “immortal” in the sense that they are cycled in and out of cryogenic sleep every few decades in order to oversee the operation and ensure its longevity. This is what allowed Thurman, Keen, Erskine, and other powerful players to be alive practically for centuries. The other silos have generational populations meaning that the people are not subjected to cryogenic sleep, but their minds are regularly wiped with amnesia drugs at even the slightest hints of rebellion. 

If one specific silo is especially unruly, the entire population is killed with poisonous gas. There have been numerous instances of rebellion in the past, and there will be in the future. Silo 18 rebelled in the past, and the memories were “reset,” Silo 17 rebelled in the past, and almost no one lived to tell the tale. An entire cluster of silos broke away from Silo 1 decades ago, and they are currently not under control. 

Each silo is secretly led by the “head of IT,” in the case of Silo 18, this is Bernard. The Head of IT is the only person that knows what’s going on and knows how important it is to keep the charade going on. The Head of IT is also responsible for analyzing statistics about the population of each silo. All Silo leaders, in turn, are under the command of Silo 1. 

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‘Silo’: Why Is Mechanized Transportation Prohibited?

Why were silos really created? 

Keene built the silos because he believed he was building a highly advanced nuclear shelter for the purpose of general nuclear maintenance. Then he discovered that the silos were built because of the nuclear attack that destroyed Atlanta. Ultimately, after Paul Thurman’s death, Donald Keene found out that the nuclear attack was only a distraction that humanity would have fallen to the harmful effects of nanotechnology. 

Thurman and Victor staged the nuclear attack, and the surviving population of the Earth was forced to retreat to silos while the surface of the Earth was being “repaired” by the nanobots created by US government that were supposed to deal with the bad enemy nanobots. Thurman’s logic was that you can’t escape from the nanobots, but you can “outlive them.” By retreating underground for 500 years, when the population emerges, the surface should be once again safe. 

The surface world was safe much sooner than those 500 years, however, but the project still had to go on. 

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