We always think that it’s ok for us to leave our plants unattended during our vacation as we believe that they’ll survive just fine. Plus, plants won’t scream like pets, so they must be okay, right?
A recent study done by a group of scientists at the Tel Aviv University has discovered that some plants will scream in a high frequency when they are undergoing stress.
The research was carried out on tomato plants and tobacco plants by cutting their stems and depriving them of water. A microphone is placed 10cm away from the setup.
When they started cutting the stems, they found out that the plants started ‘screaming’ between 20 and 100 kilohertz and they believe that this scream is probably meant to warn other plants and organisms nearby.
When the tomato plant’s stem was cut, 25 ultrasonic distress sounds were recorded over the course of an hour, and on the other hand, 15 ultrasonic distress sounds were recorded from the tobacco plant.
When they deprived the plants of water, the tomato plants recorded even more distress sounds with 35 distress sounds in an hour while the tobacco plants recorded about 11 distress sounds.
The plants also responded differently to different kinds of stress, for example, the tobacco plant gave out a more intense ‘scream’ when they were deprived of water than when their stems were cut. But plants that were in no immediate danger released less than one ultrasonic sound per hour.
The group of scientists then said that this changes the way we think of plants as we had always assumed that they are silent, but the thing is their voices are so high-pitched that we just can’t hear them.
Last year, another study has found out that plants feel pain when are touched or plucked and it will, in turn, cause the release of a foul-tasting chemical.