The April Fool Archive

Breakthrough in Plant Communication    (April Fool's Day - 1979)

The Kansas Hutchinson News reported that the Kansas Botanical Research Laboratory had made a breakthrough in plant communication by creating a device that allowed plants to "talk" in near-human terms.

The researchers had been monitoring the responses of plants to stimuli such as humidity level, root temperature, and photosynthesis rate, when they began to see patterns of "vibration waves" emerging. For instance, loud rock music produced an upset and unstable response, while classical music produced an even and stable readout. The researchers concluded that some form of higher awareness was operating in the plants — signs of "plant intelligence."

Eventually the scientists devised a way to translate the plant responses into audio readouts. Their experiments focused, in particular, on ferns, having found these plants "to be among the most sensitive and responsive."

The scientists then realized they could converse with the plants by translating their own voices back through a computer into the form of "vibration waves" which the plants could respond to. "I'm not saying that it's possible to have any great philosophical discussion with the ferms or any nonsense like that," the chief scientist admitted, "but we do have some form of two-way communication."

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