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Incredible footage shows plants 'breathing' in real-time and people can’t believe it’s real

Incredible footage shows plants 'breathing' in real-time and people can’t believe it’s real

It's eerily human-like.

It's easy to take the nature around us for granted.

That's why, every so often, it's good to be reminded just how amazing plants can be - as demonstrated in a viral video posted on Reddit.

The video was posted on the Damnthatsinteresting subreddit, racking up 10k votes in just 19 hours.

It appears to show a microscopic look at a plant, and has the caption: 'A groundbreaking video reveals plants 'breathing' in real-time, showcasing how they use stomata to regulate carbon dioxide intake'.

The video seems to show green plant cells, with one part looking a bit like a mouth, or even an eye. This 'mouth' gently opens and closes, and it really does look like the plant is 'breathing'.

The footage appears to come from a scientific paper published in Science Advances back in 2022.

Researchers led by the University of California San Diego found a molecular pathway that plants use to direct their 'breathing' of carbon dioxide.

In case you need a quick reminder of high school biology - gases enter a plant's leaves through thousands of tiny holes called stomata, which tend to be found on the underside of leaves. Carbon dioxide then helps carry out the process of photosynthesis, and oxygen is released from the cells as a byproduct of the process.

The research stated that stomata can't be open all the time, as that would dry out the plant, so it has to open and close to regulate the balance of gases coming in and water vapor loss.

"The response to changes is critical for plant growth and regulates how efficient the plant can be in using water, which is important as we see increased drought and rising temperatures," said Julian Schroeder, Torrey Mesa Research Institute chair in plant science at UC San Diego, who led the research.

wilatlak villette / Getty
wilatlak villette / Getty

Essentially, scientists found that a series of proteins worked like 'a chain of soldiers sensing the carbon dioxide level', letting the stomata know when it was time to close.

"This work is a wonderful example of curiosity-driven research that brings together several disciplines — from genetics to modeling to systems biology - and results in new knowledge with the ability to aid society, in this case by making more robust crops," said Matthew Buechner, a program director in NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences.

While people are suitably impressed in the comment section of the Reddit post, of course people have been cracking jokes too.

"Checkmate vegans," one person quipped, while another said: "TIL plants are mouth breathers."

Featured Image Credit: Good News Network/YouTube/Kseniya Ovchinnikova/Getty