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

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have discovered that plants produce sounds in ultrasonic frequencies outside the range of human hearing. These sounds, described as a polling or clicking noise, increase when the plant is under stress. Evolutionary biologist Lilach Hadany and her team wanted to investigate whether plants produce sounds when stressed, in addition to the visible changes they experience.

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 undetectable by humans but could be heard within a radius of over a meter. In contrast, 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. However, 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 Samantha Johnson

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