Have you ever wondered what kind of music your plants like listening to? Or how they feel about you? Do they miss you when you leave the house? Do they hear you speaking? And does it hurt them when you cut them? Well, it’s a very interesting thought, but how could plants possibly have feelings? They are simply green leafy parts of nature, and in the least harsh way possible, they have no brain or heart.
Cleve Backster thought otherwise. He was the founder of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s polygraph unit, and in 1960 he took a different path from fighting crimes in order to develop his theory of primary perception, the paranormal belief that plants have sentiments. He concluded that every single thing in the universe is connected and can produce emotional responses.
According to his polygraph machine, when a plant leaf is hooked up to it it can actually detect the vegetations inner energy. Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara from MythBusters recreated a series of Backster’s experiments with the same dracaena plants he tested on, as well as eggs, saliva, and yogurt in order to see if these objects could feel for the things around them. After several test runs, as well removing all human and other environmental stimuli that could have disrupted the research, the conclusion was that a plant could react to seeing eggs being destroyed in boiling water.
But the MythBusters were set on disproving his theory. And since all living organisms let off an electric pulse, even in the smallest of levels, the plants were connected by the MythBusters to a pulse-reading EEG machine. This machine is even more sensitive than the polygraph used in Backster’s research.
One of the MythBusters put the timer on a machine within the plant’s line of vision that would destroy the eggs in boiling water at random times, and he then left the room. The eggs were completely wrecked and the plant did not appear to show any emotion at all. The EGG proved that there were no changes or spikes in the electrical activity. This revealed that the myth that plants have feelings is not factual, however, was certainly an interesting experiment and a rather comical one. You should, of course, still care for your plant and take care of it, but do keep in mind that they do not actually have feelings.