Are Plants Crucial For Humans To Survive? This Scientist Is About To Find Out
The fact that plants absorb harmful carbon dioxide and emit oxygen that humans need to survive, has been well documented for many years now. Despite that, we seem to continue to treat plants like second-class citizens - Something geologist Iaian Stewart is trying to change, by spending 48-hours inside a sealed box.
To demonstrate that plants are indeed the 'lungs of the planet', the Plymouth University professor will conduct an experiment that has to date been performed only with rats. On September 16th & 17th, the environmentalist will spend 48 hours in solitary confinement inside a 130sqft. transparent plastic container, where his only companions will be a hammock, a laptop, an exercise bike and approximately 150-200 plants that have been specially cultivated for the experiment. The species of plants which include miscanthus, banana, sweetcorn and a mix of tropical herbs have been selected because they produce large amounts of oxygen.
The temperature and humidity inside the box will be maintained at a level that is optimal for the plants, while special lights placed inside and outside the box will ensure that they can photosynthesize the entire 48 hours.
Though experts will be monitoring the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide, as well as, Professor Stewart's vital signs constantly, he will receive no aid from them, unless he demonstrates signs of complete oxygen depravation. In fact, the researchers hope to conduct some tests on him to explore the effects on humans, when faced with depleted oxygen levels.
The stunt, which will take place at an environmental visitor center called The Eden Project in Cornwall, Southwest England, will be filmed for a BBC documentary 'How Plants Are Made' - Hopefully the professor's endeavor will help highlight the importance of the vegetation around us - Something we all seem to take for granted!
This is not the first time the professor has encountered personal discomfort to make us aware of important environmental issues. In 2010, he ventured into Mexico's crystal caves where the temperature exceeds 500° C with 100% humidity, dropped down a hole in the Iranian desert and crawled through seven-thousand-year-old tunnels in Israel- All to show how geology, geography and climate have influenced the evolution of the human race. His efforts were captured on tape by a BBC and broadcast in a documentary entitled 'How Earth Made Us'.
Resources: news.com.au, BBC.co.uk