Does that ear of corn hear? Can fennel communicate? Some new studies suggest plants may be able to process sound
Does that ear of corn hear? Can fennel communicate? Some new studies suggest plants may be able to process sound.
Peter Wohlleben’s best-selling book The Hidden Life of Trees has reinvigorated the idea that plants are capable of much more complex social behaviour than we have admitted until now. Scientists are much more comfortable with this book than the similarly titled predecessor from 1973, The Secret Life of Plants — not surprising when one of its claims was that plants could tell when people were lying. The Hidden Life of Trees is a science book, and among the most intriguing pieces of current plant research that Wohlleben refers to, albeit briefly, is that plants can “hear.”
There is already solid evidence that plants communicate. Two main mechanisms allow them to keep in touch with each other: airborne chemical messages and the transfer of substances through the subsurface network of fungal threads that connects to the roots. But sound? That’s something else.