Your tweets may actually help this plant grow

As part of Mythbusters exhibit, a Denver museum is running an experiment to see if conversation with a plant will encourage growth. 

 

Cody Permenter

Tech

Published Oct 13, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 4:20 am CDT

It isn’t nearly as dangerous as stopping a Civil War-era sword or as messy as the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment, but the Mythbusters latest investigation brings crowdsourcing to the team’s extensive dossier of busting or upholding urban legends.

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As part of “Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition,” the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has set up an interactive experiment that you can participate in from your living room couch.

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The museum is encouraging people to send messages to a plant via Twitter, which will then be read aloud to the plant. Another plant sits in a separate soundproof room with no encouragement from the outside world. The experiment is designed to determine if speaking to a plant can actually encourage growth.

The hashtag #talktoaplant is being used in the experiment and as users tweet messages they are read aloud by tweet-to-speech technology.

Despite the perfect opportunity for Internet trolling, most people have sent kind words to the growing seedling:

I love you plant! You are beautiful! I wish all plants could get sweet care. Thank you for growing. #talktoaplant http://t.co/SRTPFwNVq7

— Rachael Spatula (@RachaelSpatula) October 13, 2013

Come on, plant! Reach for the sky. #aimhigh #talktoaplant http://t.co/c1JnvP4XUy

— Jaclyn Loo (@jaclynloo) October 13, 2013

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Keep on photosynthesising plant! #talktoaplant http://t.co/LopzRtmv89

— Rafael Cortês (@mrfyda) October 13, 2013

Mythbusters deemed it plausible in a past episode of the television show that talking to a plant increases growth. And 1997 research from South Korea’s National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology found that two genes involved in a plant’s response to light are turned on by music at a certain decibel.

While it is only the fourth day of the experiment and still probably too early to draw a conclusion, the plant being read tweets from around the world is an inch taller and has greener leaves than the other plant.

You can view real-time messages and keep up with both of the plant’s progress through the museum’s interactive website.

Photo via Flickr/Tim Patterson

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*First Published: Oct 13, 2013, 6:17 pm CDT