Researchers Record Plants Emitting “Sounds” When Uprooted in Groundbreaking Discovery

Scientists at Tel Aviv University in Israel have discovered that plants produce sounds in ultrasonic frequencies that are outside the range of human hearing. These sounds, described as a polling or clicking noise, increase when the plant is under stress. Researchers believe that this could be a way for plants to communicate their distress to the world around them.

Lilach Hadany, an evolutionary biologist at the university, explained that plants interact with insects and other animals on a regular basis. Since many of these organisms use sound for communication, it would make sense for plants to also use sound in some way. The team wanted to investigate whether plants produce sounds when they are stressed, in addition to the other visible changes they experience when under duress.

The scientists recorded tomato and tobacco plants in stressed and unstressed conditions, using their definition of stress to include instances where plants had their stems cut or were dehydrated. They found that distressed plants emitted high-pitched sounds that were undetectable by humans but could be heard within a radius of over a meter. Moreover, the team discovered that unstressed plants did not produce much noise at all; they remained quiet and continued with their usual activities.

While the researchers were able to differentiate between the sounds produced by stressed and unstressed plants, they are still unsure about the exact mechanism through which plants produce these noises. Nevertheless, this study sheds light on an intriguing aspect of plant biology and opens up new possibilities for understanding the ways in which plants communicate with their environment.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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