Problem Solving Plants

By Anupum Pant

Neurobiological research on plants, sounds absurd, right? Not at all. Stefano Mancuso from University of Florence, Italy has devoted years of his life studying plants and he firmly believes that plants can communicate.

He often uses bean plants to demonstrate their mystical ability to communicate and their amazing ability to sense the environment. He has grown bean plants in a number of conditions (lighting, temperature, humidity, magnetic field etc.), while recording their growth through a time-lapse camera.

In his time-lapse videos it’s fascinating to see bean plants shooting out and making movements, as a blind man would do with his hand to sense the environment. Every single time, irrespective of its distance, bean plants are able to find the support stick to wind on…

This remarkable ability of bean plants, lacking eyes or any other known sensing techniques, has stunned scientists. Since it is sped up, the video of this shoot moving up the support stick looks a lot like some reptile’s movement.

Here, watch the time-lapse, you’ll see how amazing this little marvel of nature is…

Like a bean plant, there is another plant (if you could call it that), whose movements have interested scientists. Exactly like a bean plant does, this plant comes out too, searches and always is able to find another plant to grow on. At the same time, it is quite different from the bean plant.

Cuscuta Pentagona, as scientists call it, is a true parasite. That means, it has no roots, nor can it make food on it’s own – no photosynthesis. So, for food, it relies on neighbouring plants. And every single time, like bean plant, after coming out from the ground, cuscuta parasite is able to sense the healthiest plant. It then sinks in its suckers to suck out food from the host plant. Now watch the serial killer in action, in the voice of Morgan Freeman.

Bizarre Creature – The Tongue Eating Parasite

By Anupum Pant


Firstly, if you are eating something, or you are weak at heart, then go away. It isn’t going to be a pleasant one today because we are going to look at a really bizarre, and probably one of the most grossest creature ever – The tongue eating parasite.

Not that it is really needed here, but in case someone comes searching for it, the scientific name of this isopod is Cymothoa Exigua. It is one of those very large group of animals that includes crabs and lobster – called Crustacean. This one lives in the ocean and is parasitic. That means this creature lives and benefits at the expense of the other, called the host (fish in this case).

Changing Sex

Protandry hermaphroditism: Another interesting thing about these isopods is that the adult males can turn themselves into females. When a creature changes sex from male to female, it is called Protandry. This changing of sex at some point in life is called Sequential hermaphroditism. So, the tongue eating parasite is a Protandric Hermaphrodite. But that isn’t even what we came here for…The main tongue eating part is coming…

The Life of Cymothoa Exigua

The life cycle of this parasite starts with these little ones attaching themselves to gills of, say a Snapper(or others). They enter the body of a fish through gills. When they mature inside, all of them are males. Later, since they are Protandric Hermaphrodites, one of these matured males turns into a female. During this time the males are still attached to the gill arches.

The male that turns into a female, goes to the base of the tongue of this fish and attaches itself to it. It feeds on the tongue and destroys it. Then the parasite attaches itself to the stub and starts acting as a prosthetic tongue!

If you are not in a mood to read, the woman in the video below explains it nicely.

Did you like this article?

Every day I send out a newsletter with an un-cut new article and exclusive content for readers. It’s basically my way of keeping in touch with you and letting you know what’s going on. Your information is protected and I never spam.

Subscribe from the sidebar to stay connected. Feel free to reply to these newsletters too…