Venus flytraps, the carnivorous plants lure insects with a fragrant nectar. These plants while snapping down on their prey generate a measurable magnetic field, according to a new study.
The magnetic field of the plant is more than a million times weaker than Earth’s. Researchers assume that this magnetic field is likely a by-product of electrical energy that flows through its leaves. Wherever there is electrical activity, there should also be magnetic activity. The laws of electromagnetism dictate that anything with an electrical current also generates a magnetic field; and that includes humans, animals and plants. In fact, it’s such a common phenomenon among living things that there’s a name associated with it: bio magnetism. But while much research focused on such magnetic fields in humans and animals, not much has been done to understand bio magnetism in the plant world.
The researchers stimulated the plant in another way, by using heat. They found that when stimulated, the Venus flytrap created a magnetic field up to a strength of 0.5 picotesla. That’s similar to the levels generated by nerve impulses in animals, according to the statement. Magnetic fields have only been detected in two other plants prior to this study, a single-cell algae and a bean plant. The researchers now hope to measure even tinier magnetic fields in other plant species.
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