Are There Other Silos In The World? Why Were They Created?


The world we know is divided into continents and countries. Each country has its own government that looks after its people through the resources available within its borders. We have also developed a system to buy food, fuel, and other things, thereby creating a sustainable global economy. In theory, the plan works. In reality, it fails more often than it doesn’t. In the real world, we have two superpowers fighting over some land in the Middle East. We have neighboring countries attacking each other for a piece of conflicted land. As humans, we are more interested in what others have, and soon, our greed takes over our humanity. Perhaps the founders of Silo knew that one day, man would bring about his own doom, and thus, they wiped out humanity before humans could drive themselves to extinction.

Before we start, a disclaimer is in order to point out the fact that all the information discussed here is taken from Hugh Howey’s “Wool.” The second installment in the trilogy clearly mentions the name of the Silo founders and perhaps their reason for creating it. But we haven’t gone that far. The entire piece is a speculation of what Bernard Holland discusses with Lukas in the first part of the trilogy. If you have any other information to add, please feel free to do so; a conversation is always helpful.

Book Spoilers Ahead

As mentioned in the book “Wool,” the founders of the Silo witnessed the ongoing war, hunger, and poverty that raised concern for the future of humanity. People were fighting over limited natural resources and spending those resources to protect what was left in the world. The countries were stuck in an endless loop of chaos and destruction, and there was no way out. As Bernard theorized, these founders belonged to a superpower that had begun to crumble, and it drove them to take unimaginable measures to save their people. They might have spent decades planning an escape operation and finally come up with the idea of an underground Silo. Perhaps these constructions were done underground to avoid unwanted attention, as secrecy played a key role in the success of their operation.

The secret plan for survival was called Operation Fifty. Judging from the locations of all the Silos, we believe that the founders bought acres of land outside some city in the United States. They couldn’t have gone too far because they needed electricity to power their large machines. They might have built huge buildings or sheds to assemble digging machines (or diggers) to start their operation. However, one Silo is around 144 floors deep, which means it would have taken them more than a few years to dig the ground. Finally, they would have decided to leave the diggers underground because pulling them up would have required a huge crane that might have exposed their secret operation.

After the digging was done, they had to create the spiral structure that had been visually demonstrated in the opening credits of the show. The blueprints of the Silo were also featured in Episode 1 when George Wilkins accessed hard drive number 18. All the data related to the construction of the Silo was available on that hard disk, along with the location of a secret tunnel that connected all the Silo from underground. The founders might have already known that traveling from one Silo to another through the surface would be impossible because of the mayhem they were about to bring, and thus, this tunnel might have come in handy. However, they must have soon realized that the tunnel was a grave mistake because such an easy commute wouldn’t solve the problem that they were dealing with in the real world. The idea was to isolate each establishment and design it like a prison so that no one could walk in or out of it. The only mode of communication between the Silos was a radio signal that fell under the responsibility of the one who managed the affairs of the respective Silo.

In the next step, they created bombs inside their factories—perhaps nuclear bombs—that wiped out the entire human race and made the surface of the earth uninhabitable. It had to be a nuclear bomb because the radiation had not only killed humans, animals, and vegetation but also deserted the entire land, making it impossible to recover anytime soon. It can be theorized that most of the relics from before the construction of the Silo were banned, as they might have traces of radiation that could harm the entire population locked inside. It is just a theory, and nothing concrete is suggested.

The Silo was built to promote the idea that a homogenous population should remain inside its own walls and produce its own resources without mingling with the affairs of the outside world. In this scenario, there was no outside world left. General residents weren’t aware of the existence of the other Silos, which made it impossible for them to entertain the idea of conquering territories or stealing resources. A pact was created in order to maintain law and order, and though we haven’t read the entire pact, we believe that the founders wrote it as on their experiences of the real world so history doesn’t repeat itself.

The very foundation of Silo is built on carefully constructed lies. People were told that their history had been wiped clean by some rebels. It was crucial to feed them these lies so that no one would ever question where they came from or why they were there. Secondly, people in the judiciary and IT had been quietly surveilling people through an intricate network of cameras and recording devices in their rooms. These instruments were designed to detect problems at their root like the judiciary finding the microscope that Juliette’s mom had created. In the series, people weren’t aware of such recording devices like camcorders, though the book doesn’t mention any such clause.

However, the most infuriating thing was that IT had been assessing the behavior of the people, and based upon those stats, they were stopping certain people from having children as they believed that their curiosity would be inherited by the younger generations, thereby increasing the probability of a mortal threat. We loved how Bernard spoke of probabilities every now and then because it was his job to eliminate even the minutest hint of a risk that could ruin the very existence of Silos. It was the reason why Bernard told Juliette that her mother was never meant to give birth to her because, as per the IT records, people like Nichols and Beckers were threats to the order and needed to be stopped. However, Bernard failed to stop one possible threat and will therefore have to face the consequences of his failure in the upcoming seasons of Silo.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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