Secret Communication in Nature Part I: Plants!

tree_flipping_birdThis two-part article (which I hope to complete sometime before I get grandchildren) is devoted to the fascinating topic of secret communication in nature.  For example, did you know that elephants talk to each other in frequencies so low we can’t hear them, hence it escaped our attention until very recently?  Would you like to learn more about how some insects use celestial navigation?  Well too bad, because those topics will have to wait until Part II of this article — here in Part I, we’re focusing on the secret world of Plant Communication.  Yes, we’re having salad for the first course.

If you’re a fan of cool science facts (and if you aren’t, what the hell are you doing here), you might have heard how plants can signal each other chemically — neighboring plants can actually “talk” to each other, via releasing specific chemicals.  This astounding fact is but an appetizer in the buffet that is Plant Communication.  We’ll be talking about this chemical communication in detail, then we’ll move on to even stranger feats that you didn’t know plants were capable of.

How Plants Secretly Talk With Each Other

You know that smell of cut grass that reminds you so much of pleasant childhood summers? You’re smelling the combined cries of anguish from thousands of blades of grass, announcing to their neighbors of their horrible trauma.  Click the link to read further.  You monster.

>>>   READ ON

How Plants Secretly Talk With Insects

But it’s not just a plant-to-plant talk show out there in the fields behind your house.  Plants are also constantly talking with insects.  Sometimes the conversations get a little tense…

>>>   READ ON

Are Plants Smart?  The Evidence For Plant Intelligence

Now things get really weird…  We tend to think of plants as static objects, technically alive but not really, not alive in the way animals are.  After all, they’re essentially some salad held up by sticks, right?  Maybe not — some (extremely preliminary) evidence suggests plants may have a sophisticated nervous system, capable of information processing, decision-making, and perhaps even learning from experience.  Check out the details, after which you may think twice about eating salad…

>>>   FLAME ON

What Would It Feel Like To Be A Plant?

Now we’re achieving full weirdness.  If you put yourself in the shoes of a plant, what would that feel like?  We doubt (for the time being) that plants are conscious, but if they were, how would they perceive the world?  Read on for wild speculation lightly dusted with groundbreaking science, plus some frankly startling time-lapse videos…

>>>   READ ON


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