B1 Intermediate US 411 Folder Collection
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Hey there!
Welcome to Life Noggin!
Oh, you're planting a little seed?
I can't wait to see what it grows into!
Plants are pretty amazing.
They are the longest living organisms on Earth, with some species dating back over 250 million years,
and plants can live in all kinds of environments, from underwater, to without soil, and inside the human body.
No, really!
It's incredibly rare, but it's happened.
There have been reports of a pea plant growing inside a man in Massachusetts.
He experienced serious medical issues like a collapsed lung, and extreme chest pain.
During surgery doctors were extremely surprised to find a plant had sprouted in the lungs of their patient.
So, how is that possible?
Well, let's start at the beginning.
To grow a plant inside your body, you first need to get a seed or seedling in there.
We can rule ingestion out.
Despite what your friends told you when you were a kid, a swallowed watermelon seed will not grow into a watermelon in your stomach.
Your stomach contains enzymes and acids that would break down most seeds or plants.
While seeds with protective coatings that are built to survive being swallowed like raspberry or blackberry seeds, will simply pass through your body.
Even if the seed isn't digested or passed, plants typically need their soil's pH to be between 4.5 and 8,
but stomach acid has a much lower pH, ranging from 1.5 to 3.
That pretty much leaves inhalation, which is most likely what happened to the guy I mentioned before.
But this doesn't happen easily.
Your body has ways to prevent you from inhaling objects.
These include your epiglottis, which is a flap over your trachea that closes when you are eating,
your larynx or vocal cords, which try to push intruders back up your trachea, cilia, which sweep particles out and away from your lungs,
and your cough reflex, which attempts to prevent particles from descending any further.
So, if a lucky seed does make it through all those defense mechanisms, could it sprout?
Well, plants require water, carbon-dioxide, and sunlight in order to make nutrients through photosynthesis and grow.
Without sunlight, how could they grow then?
Well, to germinate, seeds only need oxygen, warmth, and moisture,
which is pretty easy to find in the lungs of a human body that is around 60 percent water and whose temperature is a steady 37 degrees Celsius.
But, don't break out the dust masks just yet.
Even though most seeds contain their own nutrients, which is needed to sprout, after they use them up they require sunlight to grow any further.
That could by why the pea plant only reached 1.25 centimeters.
So, while it is possible, that little seed needs to defy a lot of odds in order to grow inside your body.
I think it's safe to say that you don't have to fear the outdoors, or at least not for that reason.
So are there any other bodily oddities that you want us to talk about next?
Let me know in the comment section below!
Curious to know what happens to your body when you get bit by a poisonous snake?
Check out this video.
Venomous snakes can choose whether or not to actually release their venom, but if they do,
those fangs of theirs are going to release different toxins into your body
that have varying effects depending on what type of snake bit you.
As always, my name is Blocko, this has been Life Noggin, don't forget to keep on thinking!
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Could A Plant Grow Inside You?

411 Folder Collection
Jerry Liu published on February 5, 2019    Jerry Liu translated    Evangeline reviewed
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