Bad News For Plant Mums, Plants 'Scream' When Their Stems Are Cut
For many millennials, our plants are our babies.
As an increasing number of young people are opting to postpone starting a family in order to focus on their career, plants allow us to feel compassion and companionship without demanding too much of our time.
However, our precious plants might not be feeling the love as much as we'd like them to.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University have discovered that certain plants let out an ultrasonic 'scream' while placed under stress. Yikes.
The scientists uncovered evidence that suggests that just like animals and humans, plants have the ability to vocalise their agony, particularly when their stems are cut or they're deprived of water.
By placing a microphone ten centimetres away from tomato plants and tobacco plants, they recorded ultrasonic sounds between 20 and 100 kilohertz.
In the report, the authors state that the sound cannot be detected by the human ear, but it can feasibly "be detected by some organisms from up to several meters away."
It appears that certain conditions can cause plants more 'pain' than others. The plants with cut stems emitted approximately 25 ultrasonic squeals per hour. Whereas drought-stressed tomato plants had it even worse, emitting an average of 35 ultrasonic squeals per hour.
Neglecting your fiddle leaf fig to go on that Euro vacay suddenly feels less harmless now, doesn't it?
While this awkward fact sounds more like something out of 'Little Shop of Horrors' than it does a science textbook, this knowledge can help us to be better plant parents.
The scientists behind the research paper (which has yet to be peer reviewed) hope that these finding will assist agriculturalists and farmers to identify core issues with their crops.
The notion that humans can inflict pain upon plants is made all the more horrifying when we consider just how beneficial living with plants can be to our own health.
According to findings by Plant Life Balance, just one medium sized houseplant is capable of increasing a room's air quality by up to 25 per cent.
So while our little plant babies do nothing but give and give, we seem to be making them scream in agony.
Be right back, gotta go and water my plants and tell them I love them.
Featured Image: 'Harry Potter'