comScore This Newly-Discovered Plant Is So Metal That It Eats Metal | The Mary Sue

This Newly-Discovered Plant Is So Metal That It Eats Metal

Rock on, plant-bro.


Just last week, a new plant was discovered with shapeshifting powers to rival Mystique’s. Now, scientists have discovered and even more hardcore plant – a plant that isn’t satisfied with eating your regular old sunlight. No, this plant eats something way more metal: metal.

Professor Edwino Fernando and his team at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños just published their new plant findings in PhytoKeys. According to them, the Rinorea niccolifera – found on the western part of Luzon Island in the Philippines – accumulates 18,000 ppm of nickel in its leaves. That’s approximately a thousand times more metal than plants typically ingest – most other plants would die of nickel poisoning if they tried to do what the niccolifera does like it’s no big deal.

The plant is amongst the 0.5% to 1% of plants in the entire world that chows down on so much metal – one of only 450 species total. These hyperacccumulator plants are currently being examined for the development of various green technologies. And for being the most bad-ass of all plant life. Obviously.

(via Pensoft)

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Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.