Do Plants Have Feelings?
Taliesin van Lidth de Jeude Roemer
Island Pacific School
Floor Location : J 160 V

I have always been interested in plants, and I have always wondered if they can sense things around them. For my experiment, I am testing whether or not I can detect plants' feelings using a home-made polygraph (a device used to measure electrical resistance). My first test was just to figure out if it worked on people. It did, so I moved on to plants. The information from this experiment could be used to improve agricultural and environmental practices.
According to an experiment Mythbusters did (based on an original experiment by Cleve Backster), plants have feelings. The Mythbusters crew first tested if the plant responded to them hitting it on the leaf. It worked. The polygraph spiked! So they moved on to thinking about burning the plant. It spiked then, too. The differences between by experiment and theirs are: 1. I’m using several different types of plants, and 2. I’m using a home made polygraph.
My experiment tested how plants respond to different forms of stimulation: fire (heat/burning), thoughts, and sounds. I tested an avocado tree and some primroses.
I originally expected that when I burnt the leaves of the plants they would have the most response; after that sounds, thoughts, and the least response would be with the Control (no stimulation of any sort).
The results were different than I expected, although stimulation did affect the plant. With the avocado tree, I was surprised to see thoughts and sounds had lower resistance than control. They are stimulation, so that would make it have more resistance right? Despite this, I think that the avocado tree test worked out well.
I was a rather disappointed with the primrose test. The results don’t seem to show any pattern, other than that the resistance lowers over time. Fire, thoughts, and sounds didn’t seem to have any affect on them. It also may be that the primroses don’t broadcast their feelings as resistance at all, or, most likely, that the experiment set-up was flawed.
In conclusion, I got some very interesting results, learned some new things, and respect plants more. A few things I would change about my experiment are that I could have tested with different sounds and thoughts, used different people testing the thoughts (because some people's thoughts affected the plants differently), and used more plants.