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Shh, Listen… Are the Plants Talking?

Dr. Monica Gagliano at the University of Western Australia, and her team of scientists, recently experimented with corn seedlings and discovered that their roots leaned toward a 220-Hertz purr, and the roots emitted clicks of a similar tune.  Their research was so compelling, that the group has since teamed up with scientists from the UK and Italy to explore this connection between plants and sounds.

Other studies show similar findings. A 2007 study from a group of South Korean botanists also proved that plants react to the frequency of sound. The group played music at 70 decibels (about the level of a typical conversation) and found that the plants were more receptive to light.

But if plants respond to sounds, are they potentially admitting sounds to one another?

Yes, it’s believed plants communicate to other plants about the possible incoming dangers in nature.

Consider the following:

The Douglas fir shares resources like food and light with other species by using an underground fungal network. The wild tobacco plant defends itself from caterpillars by sending out signals to the insect’s predators.

"Sound is overwhelming, it's everywhere. Surely life would have used it to its advantage in all forms," Dr. Gagliano told OurAmazingPlanet. "Considering that entire forests are all interconnected by networks of fungi, maybe plants are using fungi the way we use the Internet and sending acoustic signals through this Web. From here, who knows?"

What do you think? Can plants communicate with one another? Can talking to a plant increase a plant's growth? We want to hear your thoughts!

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