Category: Weird Articles
Published on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 00:00
Probably the most famous and favorite anecdote to use for teaching children about the value of money is the fact that money does not grow on trees. Or does it? Thanks to a marvelous discovery down under, researchers in Australia recently found GOLD in eucalyptus trees growing in the outback.
A team of intellectual prospectors recently ventured into the dusty landscape of the Goldfields-Esperance in Western Australia hoping to uncover what lies beneath its soil. The area got its name for being rich in gold deposits, which ironically is notoriously difficult to find. It dawned upon the researchers to look for gold in a place where it is the least expected: the trees.
Eucalyptus trees in that area are well known for their resilience and ability to grow on barren lands, this is attributed to their insanely long roots that can reach into the deepest depths of the soil to find groundwater that can sustain them. Besides water, their roots sometimes manage to find gold deposits that are way down there as well.
Exploring the enduring rumor of how the leaves on the eucalyptus trees obtain their shimmery gold shine from gold deposits, the scientists analyzed the leaves of the trees in the Goldfields-Esperance and actually found traces of gold. It was then hypothesized that the trees' roots grew as much as ten stories deep into the soil and absorbed gold particles from nearby deposits. To assert this theory, the researchers grew eucalyptus trees in gold-laced potting soil in a greenhouse, and when the leaves were tested, it turned out positive that gold was present in them.
“Say what now? I'm eating GOLD?!” Mr. Koala expresses his astonishment.
We have all learned in primary school that plants and trees absorb minerals, yes, but gold? Trees absorbing gold is an extraordinary phenomenon as gold is potentially deadly for plants.
“Gold is probably toxic to plants and is moved to its extremities (such as leaves) or in preferential zones within cells in order to reduce deleterious biochemical reaction,” reads a study about the research published in Nature Communications
. The researchers also point out that this is “the first evidence of particulate gold within natural specimens of living biological tissue.”
So does: Gold + Trees = Money Growing On Trees?
Probably. But before you fly over to the land down under and brave the myriad of lethal animals to chop down all the eucalyptus trees in an effort to get rich, let it be known that each tree contains such a small amount of gold (precisely 46 parts per billion) that it would take harvesting gold from hundreds of trees to make up a simple gold ring. Instead of cutting down hundreds of trees and spending more money on yelling “TIMBER!” than you earn from the gold harvested, the trees can be used as a mark to locate underground gold deposits. Especially since approximately 30 percent of the world's gold reserves are presumed to lie underground in the Goldfields-Esperance region, the 30+ meter deep excavation into gold haven might be worth the exorbitant investment.