TED Talk: Are Plants Intelligent Beings?

fern with water photo

Photo via aussiegall via Flickr Creative Commons

When talking about plant intelligence, I think of that scene in Notting Hill with the fruitarian who believes all plants have feelings and so will only eat fruit that has "fallen from the tree or bush and is in fact already dead." While it sounds outlandish that "These carrots have been... murdered," it is indeed true that plants could have an intelligence all their own. Stefano Mancuso gives a compelling TED talk on how plants behave in ways that exhibit intelligence, from fighting predators to finding food, and after listening, you just might look at your house fern in a whole new way.

Mancuso is a founder of the study of plant neurobiology, and focuses on answering highly complex questions about plants -- or those as seemingly mundane as whether or not classical music soothes houseplants. Mancuso and his team look at how plants interact with one another to propagate and protect their species. And their findings may one day show us how we underestimate the capabilities of our planet's fauna.

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