Trees Cry For Help When They're Thirsty (Video)

Scientists in France say they've discovered that trees make sounds when they're thirsty or starved for water. Although this is fascinating research does this knowledge actually serve any kind of a purpose to benefit trees? Well, it can possibly be used as a tool if drought becomes more common around the world because of climate change.

In the future, scientists foresee forest officials could use handheld acoustic monitors to find stressed trees that need emergency watering to prevent permanent damage. They are hoping that their discovery will help them know exactly when trees want and need water, by crying out, if you will.

The discovery that trees make sounds when they are thirsty was arrived at when physicists created a sensitive microphone that they attached to trees . They found that the thirstier the trees became, the louder the sounds they made.

Of course in order to hear those sounds with the human ear, researchers had to slow them down by a thousand times. The sounds that were heard, they say, are like gurgling sounds, similar to a straw sucking up that last bit of a milkshake.

Trees drink by absorbing water through special tubes called xylem in their trunks. When groundwater dries up, the trees have to pull harder on whatever water is left - which can create air bubbles. According to Dr. Alexandre Ponomarenko, the lead scientist on the project, "Every time there was a sound, there were bubbles happening inside the tree. When these bubbles appear, it's bad."

As part of their research, Dr. Ponomarenko's team at Grenoble University created a "test" tree in a lab. They then evaporated the water to simulate a drought. What they found was that about half of the sounds made by the tree were connected to how they drink.

According to a study in Nature late last year, it was found that two out of three trees are dangerously parched around the world. The vision as pointed out by Dr.Ponomarenko, is that someday there could even be a device that would attach to a tree and constantly listen for sounds. If needed, the device could then trigger an emergency-watering system.


Responses to "Truth is stranger than Fiction - trees found to cry for help when thirsty"

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Unknown says:

    To be expected from such wonderful living enteties

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