Plants Make Ultrasonic Sounds When In Stress, Can Be Heard By Mice, Bats: Study

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As per a research conducted by the University of Tel Aviv, plants make sounds when in pain or in stress. The sound can be heard by mice, bats, and insects

Written By Riya Baibhawi | Mumbai | Updated On:

As per a new research study conducted by the University of Tel Aviv, plants make sounds when in pain or in stress. These plant sounds, which are not audible to human ears can be heard by bats, mice, and probably by some other plants too. Scientists said that the findings could help farmers identify potential problems with crops.

Ultrasonic Sounds

According to a report published in American journal Smithsonian, plants can make sounds when they lack water or are faced to with bodily harm.

The research involved depriving tomato and tobacco plants of water by cutting their stems and then recording their responses on a microphone. It was noted that the tomato plant emitted 25 ultrasonic distress sound when its stem was cut and 35 distress sounds in an hour when deprived of water while the tobacco plant sent out 15 distress sounds when it stem was chopped. On the other hand, the plants that had no environmental threat released less than one ultrasonic sound per hour.

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It was also found that both, the tomato and the tobacco plants emitted ultrasonic sounds between 200 and 100 kilohertz that could be recorded from a distance of 10 centimetres. The researchers believe that these sounds could convey their distress to other plants and organisms in the immediate surrounding.

According to sound experts, these ultrasonic sounds emitted by plants can be heard by bats, dogs, and mice. The team said that the findings could alter the way humans thought about the plant kingdom, which had been perceived as silent until now.

Various other studies over the years have proven that plants are more sensitive than what human beings have believed. Some researchers also claim that plants respond to insect touch, at times even sniff other plants or feel pain when their leaves are plucked off. 

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By 2030, 40% Indians will not have access to drinking water