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Creepy video shows plants ‘breathing’ in real-time

Published May 25th, 2024 9:01AM EDT
Image: Thompson Strawberry Farm

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Nature is pretty freaking cool when you really sit down and think about it. Plants take carbon dioxide and breathe it in, eventually turning it into oxygen that they then release back into the atmosphere. It’s a cool process, but when you see a plant breathing in real-time, it’s eerily unsettling.

A video, which has gone viral now, was posted to the subreddit r/Damnthatsinteresting, and it shows a plant’s stomata up close. The stomata are tiny openings found on the bottom of leaves that help the plant pull in carbon dioxide and oxygen. According to UniladTech, the video appears to be connected to a scientific paper published in 2022.

The video shows the stomata when plants breathe in gasses like carbon dioxide. These gases help the plant create the food it needs to survive through photosynthesis, a process scientists have been trying to recreate, and then release oxygen as a byproduct of the process. The video, which is embedded below, shows the first part of this process.

The video has garnered quite a lot of notice on Reddit, with some users commenting jokes and others sharing just how epic the close-up video of the plants breathing in actually is. It’s a great reminder of just how epic nature can be when you really take the time to observe it and get a closer view of how it works.

But, there’s also something eerily unsettling about a little plant mouth opening and closing as it breathes in gasses. The observation that made this video possible have also taught us a lot about how plants breathe, revealing that not all stomata can be open all the time, as that would dry out the plant.

That’s why it needs to open and close its tiny, little mouths over and over again, the same way we might open and close our mouths to keep them from drying out.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.