The shameplant farts when it’s scared

The shameplant farts when it’s scared

Mimosa pudica, (pudica latin for shy/bashful), also known as the sensitive plant, live and die, humble plant, sleepy plantaction plant,[3]touch-me-not or shameplant.[2] farts when it feels threatened.

But this is not why it was called the shameplant (although you might think it shameful to fart when you’re scared), the shameplant curls up in defence when you touch it, much like a hedgehog. It was only more recently that scientists discovered that it also releases sulphur when it is attacked. They originally thought that the smell was passive, like onions or garlic. But new research has found that the Mimosa actively releases a powerful stink of sulphur when it is attacked.

Even a seedling just a few centimetres high can fill a room with a disgusting smell.

Prof Musah, New Scientist magazine

When scientists touched the plant’s roots, tiny sacks of sulphur collapse and release their disgusting stench. Interestingly, the plant was able to distinguish between the touch of non-animal objects like metal or glass, which it ignored, and the touch of human, which it reacted to. They do not know how it can distinguish between the two.

All plants fart

Like human farts, plant farts release methane into the air. Just as we have microbes in our stomachs that release methane and other gases, plants also have microbes that release methane from their bark or stems. The Amazon releases 40 million tons of methane per year!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/trees-release-methane-what-it-means-climate-change?loggedin=true

Health benefits (From Sciatica to Aphrodisiac)

Do not be put off by the stink though, the Mimosa has many health properties from wound healing to the regeneration of sciatic nerve (rats administered with Mimosa had 30–40% higher results in the process of regeneration of sciatic nerve). It is also antidepressant, antifungal, antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, antiviral.

Viagra combined with the pill!

According to studies, Mimosa pudica is a powerful aphrodisiac (it significantly increased the libido of Swiss albino male mice), but also promotes anti-fertility as it disturbs the estrous cycle and ovulation through suppression of FSH which reduced the number of eggs in female rats.

Bonus fact – Most animals fart (except birds)

Fart or die! Just like most animals (except birds), fish also fart. The Bolson Pupfish will die if it doesn’t fart regularly. It hides under the sediment at the bottom of pools and eats algae. Unfortunately the algae gives it gas. If it does not release gases frequently they will build up and make the pupfish bloated so that it floats to the top and is picked off by birds.

Sloths do not fart, but instead release their gases slowly through their mouth.

Sources:

Trees release flammable methane—here’s what that means for climate – National Geographic

Scientists Zero in on Trees as a Surprisingly Large Source of Methane – Yale School of the Environment

Mimosa pudica L. (Laajvanti): An overview – NCBI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimosa_pudica

Sensitive plants FART to warn off predators when they face danger – Mirror.co.uk

Birds don’t fart, neither do sloths, and other secrets of #DoesItFart