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Stressed plants 'scream,' and it sounds like popping bubble wrap

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

When deprived of water or snipped with scissors, plants emit a flurry of staccato "screams" that are too high-frequency for humans to hear, a study suggests. When lowered into a range that human ears can detect, these stress-induced pops sound like someone furiously tap dancing across a field of bubble wrap.

Although humans cannot hear these ultrasonic pops without technological assistance, various mammals, insects and even other plants may be able to detect these noises in the wild and respond to them, researchers reported Thursday (March 30) in the journal Cell. (The same researchers first shared their popping-plant discovery in 2019 on the preprint database bioRxiv, but the work has now been peer-reviewed.) 

In the future, humans could harness recording devices and artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor crops for these signs of dehydration or disease, the scientists suggest. 




Plants 'Scream' in the Face of Stress


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This reminds me of the book The Sound Machine by Roald Dahl. He was way ahead of his time. It was published in 1949.

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