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Playlist: Good Stems

Compiled By: Maureen McMurray

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Early Bloom

From Peter Frick-Wright | Part of the 30 Minutes West series | 15:54

When plant researcher David Rhoades found evidence that plants could communicate, it was a paradigm-shifting discovery. But it could not have come at a worse time.

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When University of Washington researcher David Rhoades discovered that plants could communicate with each other, he was laughed out of science. But now, three decades later, science is reconsidering.

His discovery came on the heels of the book The Secret Life of Plants, which claimed plants were sentient, emotional creatures with the ability to communicate telepathically with humans. It was a huge bestseller and Rhoades' experiments sounded like they were straight from the book. His work was criticized, grant funding disappeared, and he eventually left science.

Today, however, Rhoades' experiments have been replicated, and his theories confirmed. Scientists have found evidence that plants not only communicate with each other but also acknowledge kin, respond to sound waves, and share resources through networks of underground fungi.