The study says that plants can cry for help when stressed or deprived of water

A new study claims that plants, like humans, scream and make different sounds when they are in pain.

Dubbed Airborne Sounds, the research, which was published Thursday in the journal Cell, indicated that plants, when deprived of water or stressed, emit ultrasonic sound waves so that other organisms can hear them.

The researchers further noted that the frequency of this noise is too high for humans to detect, but it can be heard by insects, other mammals, and possibly other plants. They also said that the sound of these sounds varies according to the mood of the plants.

The research was conducted by a team from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

“We found that plants typically make sounds when they are under stress, and that each plant and each type of stress is associated with a specific, recognizable sound,” the researchers said in a press release from the university.

“While the sounds made by plants are imperceptible to the human ear, different animals, such as bats, mice, and insects, can potentially hear them.”

In their experiment, the team led by Lilac Hadani of Tel Aviv University placed tobacco and tomato plants in small boxes, and placed an ultrasonic microphone 10 centimeters away.

When stressed, such as causing pain or not providing water, plants make sounds, which only a microphone can pick up.

When the sounds were lowered and sped up, Hadani said, it sounded “a bit like popcorn—very short clicks”. “It’s not singing.”

The detected sounds were in the frequency range between 20 and 250 kHz. Whereas human adults can only hear frequencies up to 16 kilohertz, the researchers said.

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These recordings were analyzed by AI algorithms that can distinguish between plants and the types of sounds they make.

And the more stressed the plants, the more they will scream.

“Non-stressed plants emit less than one sound per hour on average. Stressed plants, whether they are dehydrated, emit dozens of sounds per hour,” said researcher Lilac Hadani.

(with input from agencies)

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