Plants as network medium?

Ignacio ivazquez at
Sun Aug 30 10:51:16 EST 1998

On Fri, 28 Aug 1998 12:27:37 -0700, "Michael J. Fair"
<michael at> wrote:

 >Hello all, at the risk of being flamed for crazy ideas I decided to
 >the following question.
 >Would it be possible to use plants as the transmission medium for
 >The question stemmed from the assumption that the Earth already has
 >built in global communications network and all we need to do is
 >using it.
 >I know plants are emitting a signal, so in a sense they are
 >What they are saying is entirely up for interpretation but the
 >point is they are sending out some sort of signal.  This signal
 >at appx. 4Hz from what I understand, which when asking some friends
 >about it has a wavelength that could probably reach around the
 >(Piece number 1)
 >Plants like to be talked to and have music played for them.
 >have proven that this increases their rate of graowth.  This implies
 >that they can receive messages and will respond to them. ( Piece
 >So it seems to me the gap I need to close is in being able to send a
 >message to a plant and hopefully have it "echo" the message.  I
 >unfortunately have no background in the electronics to make such a
 >device to start experimenting with it.  I would assume it would be
 >similar to radio technology but like I said, I don't know for sure.
 >I am not concerned about bandwidth right now, I just want to get a
 >message to "bounce" off the plant.  Heck, it doesn't even have to be
 >meaningful message, just a simple "echo" of whatever I sent.
 >My initial assumptions are that each plant (or plant species) has
 >own resonant frequency, and that whatever signal I sent at that
 >frequency the plant would duplicate and copy for me.
 >I know someone out there can answer this question, I chose the linux
 >bionet groups because I figured they would have the highest
 >of succeeding at answering this, and if it worked,
 >the linux guys could probably create a device driver for it.  The
 >term vision of this idea is that
 >we won't have to pay a phone bill for slow internet access anymore!
 >Please respond to the newsgroups as I will not have access to my
 >over the next couple weeks.
 >Thanks for any and all responses.  I know it might sound funny but
 >this does turn out to
 >be anything useful I would be very thankful.  I have a game going
 >about 63 other ppl that
 >says I can get one of these devices in my hands by November 21,
 >So as Sherlock Holmes loved to put it:
 >The game is afoot!
 >Thanks in advance,
 >-- Michael --

Hmm...interesting concept. I suppose you might be able to do it with
some sort of wire coil set up as an electromagnet. You might be better
off with some sort of superconductor. I don't know whether the coil
should be wrapped around the plant, parallel to it, or pointing at it,
however. In any case, you'd have to be careful that the energy was
high enough to get to the plant, but not high enough to interfere with
its metabolism.

Ignacio  <ivazquez at>

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