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Chinese Students Spend 6 Months Creating Stunning Dress Out of 6,000 Plant Leaves

Four sophomore students at the University of Hefei, in eastern China, recently proved that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on a designer dress to look stunning. You can make it yourself, for free, using only plant leaves.

Photos of the four students’ stunning leaf dress have been doing the rounds on Chinese social media for about a week, and people still can’t stop gushing over them. And who can blame them, really? Just take a look at what these kids were able to do with about 6,000 leaves, some thread and mountains of patience.

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Crown Shyness – When Trees Avoid Touching Each Other

Crown shyness or canopy disengagement is a mysterious natural phenomenon in which the crowns of some tree species do not touch each other, but are separated by a gap clearly visible from ground level. The effect usually occurs between trees of the same species, but has also been observed between trees of different species.

The Crown Shyness phenomenon was first documented in scientific literature during the 1920s, but researchers have since not been able to reach a consensus regarding its causes. There are many theories going around in scientific circles, most of which make sense, but no one has been able to prove without the shadow of a doubt why some trees avoid touching each other. But perhaps it’s this mystery, along with its striking appearance, that makes crown shyness such a fascinating phenomenon.

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World’s Largest Rose Bush Dates Back to 1885

You’ve probably seen some impressive-looking flowers, but unless you’ve been to the Tombstone Rose Tree Museum, you’ve never seen anything quite like the World’s Largest Rose Bush – a gnarled trunk about 12 feet in diameter, with its branches covering 9,000 square feet. It’s been around since 1885, and yes, it still blooms every Spring.

The White Lady Banksia Rose found its way to Tombstone, Arizona, from Scotland, over a century ago. In 1884, a young miner by the name of Henry Gee and his bride Mary left Scotland for the United States and settled in the legendary town. Mary felt homesick and after writing to her family about it, she received a box full of plants, bulbs and cuttings from the beautiful garden that she missed so much. As a token of friendship, Mary gifted one of the rose cuttings to a friend she had made in Tombstone, a woman called Amelia Adamson. The two of them planted it near the woodshed in the back patio of Amelia’s boarding house, and not only did the rose flourish in the Arizona desert, it grew into the largest rose bush in the world.

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Night Sky Petunias – Not Your Grandmother’s Petunias

The internet is going crazy over these incredibly beautiful purple flowers that seem covered in bright white stars. They are called Nigh Sky Petunias, or Galaxy Flowers and they are indeed stunning. I could spend hours just staring at them and not get bored.

Petunias, in general, are not the most exciting flowers to look at, but German breeder Selecta One managed to change that a few years ago, when it created NightSky®, a special type of petunia that actually resembles a trumpet-shaped galaxy full of bright stars of all shapes and sizes. It has won numerous awards in plant and gardening competitions, and for good reason. I mean, just look at it!

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The Mysterious Albino Redwood Trees Defying the Laws of Nature

For the vast majority of plants, an inability to produce chlorophyll is synonymous with death, but that general rule apparently doesn’t apply to the hundreds of documented “albino redwoods” in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Some of them are almost completely white, others, known as redwood chimeras, are half green and half white, but they have one thing in common – they should be dead, and yet they are not.

These mysterious albino redwoods have been puzzling scientists for over 100 years. Their very existence is so preposterous that many of those who haven’t seen one up close question whether that are real or just a myth. Zane Moore, a young biologist working to unravel the mechanism that allows albino trees to survive, assures us that these elusive trees are very real, but their exact location is being kept a secret to protect them against hordes of tourists looking for unusual attractions.

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New World’s Hottest Chili Is Deceptively Tiny, Could Send You Into Anaphylactic Shock

When Welsh fruit grower Mike Smith set out to create a novelty chili pepper for a national grower’s show, he had no idea he would accidentally end up with the world’s hottest pepper. Called Dragon’s Breath – a tribute to its Welsh heritage – the record-breaking pepper scores a whopping 2.48 million units on the Scoville scale of hotness.

Intended to be a tiny thing of beauty, the Dragon’s Breath pepper turned out to be a sensory beast that can’t really be consumed unless you’re willing to put your life at risk. Just to put into perspective how hot this thing is, the Scotch bonnet, a chili usually eaten as a challenge, scores between 100,000 and 350,000 Scovilles, military-grade pepper spray registers at 2 million units on the same scale, and the previous world’s hottest pepper was rated at a maximum 2.2 million units. Dragon’s Breath blows them all away with an impressive rating of 2.48 million Scovilles.

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German Artist Manipulates Plant Roots to Grow in Intricate Visually-Striking Patterns

Inspired by Charles and Francis Darwin’s theory on plant intelligence, German artist Diana Scherer managed to successfully coerce the roots of various plants to grow in specific patterns. The results of her work are simply breathtaking.

In his book, The Power of Movements of Plants, Charles Darwin argued that while plants are not capable of moving from the place where they are rooted, their roots don’t just grow passively, but actively observe their surroundings, navigating in search of water and certain chemicals. He also refers to roots as plants’ brain-like organ, suggesting that they are actually a lot more intelligent than most people think.

Based on Darwin’s controversial “root-brain” hypothesis, Amsterdam-based artist Diana Scherer conducted an artistic experiment where she attempted to coerce plant roots to grow in intricate patterns, sometimes becoming interwoven into stunning living carpets.

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Artists Manipulate the Way Grass Grows to Create Living Photos

Most people don’t pay any attention to grass and the way it grows, but British artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey have always been fascinated by it and have found an ingenious way to incorporate it into their art. By manipulating the way grass grows, they are able to literally print detailed photographs onto a living wall of grass that develops according to how much light it receives.

The two artists start by covering a large canvas with water paste and rubbing germinated seeds all over it. They then cover the windows of their studio turning into a dark room, and making sure that the only light that reaches the canvas is projected through a slide of a negative photograph. They then let photosynthesis run its course, and in a few weeks time the grass-covered canvas grows into a living print of the photograph. The amount of light shining through different parts of the negative determines which parts of the canvas turn out a vibrant green, and which remain yellow and undeveloped, making the details of the image clearly visible from a distance.

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Watermelon Plant That Yielded 131 Fruit in a Single Harvest Sets New World Record

Watermelon plants usually yield only 1 to 4 fruit per harvest, but a new variety created by an agricultural technology company in China has recently set a new Guinness Record after yielding no less than 131 massive fruit.

The Chinese seem to be really good at creating super plants. Just weeks after we posted about their impressive “octopus tomato trees” that can yield over 30,000 fruits at a time, we bring you the “watermelon king”, a new breed of watermelon that can set over 100 viable fruits per plant. Created by the Zhengzhou Research Seedling Technology Co., Ltd., the plant has been acknowledged as the most productive watermelon plant in the world after yielding 131 fruit in just 90 days.

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Woman Turns Her Brooklyn Home into a Lush Urban Jungle

Fashion Model Summer Rayne Oakes has been living in a 1,200-square-foot converted industrial space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for 11 years, and during in that time she has managed to turn it into a stunning oasis filled with 500 plants, including a living wall, an irrigated vertical garden, a closet garden, edibles and exotic species.

“I think that the only way I’ve really been able to survive in New York is by surrounding myself with plants,” Oakes told Modern Farmer Magazine, which makes sense considering she grew up in a country house on five acres of land in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, surrounded by domestic animals and lots of plants. It was fashion modelling that first brought her to the Big Apple, but that, and everything else she has been involved in since relocating to the big city, has been about raising awareness to the environment.

“It was the modeling at start because at that point in time I wanted to look at how I could bring environmental awareness out to a wider audience,” Summer said in an interview with 6sqft. “I got kind of stuck on the idea that I could do it through fashion. Not that I had ever really been involved or interested in it, and I didn’t even know how to get there other than by meeting people. Putting myself back into my 18-year-old self, it was the idea of wow, I think fashion could be a really cool way to disseminate environmental awareness.”

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“Octopus Tomato Trees” Can Yield up to 32,000 Tomatoes per Harvest

They might look like something created in a laboratory, but these “octopus tomato trees” are merely hybrids that grow from a single tomato vine but spread on a large trellis. Their crown grows to about 40-50 square meters and they yield tens of thousands of tomatoes every season.

The first time I saw a photo of an octopus tomato tree online, I was convinced it was nothing more than a clever hoax. It looked pretty cool though, so I decided to do a bit of research, just to be sure. At first, I only found a couple of mentions of these impressive plants on some gardening sites, but they didn’t offer much info on them, like how they are grown and where they can be found. Luckily, I stumbled across a travel blog that mentioned these tomato trees as a tourist attraction at Walt Disney World Resort. It even had a few photos of the trees, so I was starting to believe they were actually real. Soon after that, I found a bunch of people selling tomato trees on sites like eBay and Aliexpress, and even a short YouTube clip, so I finally decided they would make a great addition to our collection of amazing things most people don’t even know exist.

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Floral Designer Creates Living Jewelry That Grows While You Wear It

Designer Susan McLeary is taking the jewelry world by storm with her incredibly stunning accessories made from living plants. She uses real succulents hand-picked from her family-owned greenhouse to craft intricate headpieces, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and other pieces of  bio-jewelry that literally grow on you.

Each piece from McLeary’s ‘Passionflower’ collection can be worn for two to four weeks before the plants begin to grow off their metal base. When this happens, wearers can simply remove the succulents from their metal base and re-pot them to keep in their homes. The brass jewelry bases can still be worn on their own. If the pieces are worn for special occasions like weddings, the potted succulents become all the more significant.

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Japanese Company Wants to Sell You These Awesome Levitating Bonsai Trees

Bonsai – the art of growing miniature trees in shallow pots – is pretty cool in itself, but a Japanese company is taking it to the next level with ‘Air Bonsai’an invention that has the miniature trees levitate and rotate about half an inch above their pots.

Considering how mindblowing the effect is, it’s easy to mistake Air Bonsai for an optical illusion, but it is in fact quite real. Hoshinchu, the company developing the product, apparently wanted to incorporate elements of our galaxy into the idea of miniature plants. So their creation consists of two main components – ‘little star’ and ‘energy base’.

The little star is a levitating moss ball that you can transplant any bonsai plant into. It also has a rotating mechanism that runs on an AC adaptor. The energy base is made of Imari, a traditional Japanese porcelain art. It conducts magnetic energy that makes the plant float. The system is similar to the one used in OM/ONE speakers. “Each Air Bonsai is unique,” the page states, “ranging from elegant flowering plants, bold ‘matsu’ (pines), to delightful mosses.”

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Bad with Plants? This High-Tech Flower Pot Can Keep Any Plant Alive

If you’ve always wanted to grow plants but aren’t blessed with a green thumb, the ‘Parrot Pot’ is just the thing for you. It’s a smart pot that pretty much grows plants itself, keeping them alive no matter how badly you mess up.

Priced at $99, the Parrot Pot has sensors that measure light, moisture, temperature, and the level of fertilizer, ensuring that the plant always gets what it needs. If it finds that more light, water, or fertilizer is required, it sends the user alerts through a smartphone app called Flower Power. What’s more, it can actually water your plants for you using a pre-filled water tanks. 

parrot-flower-pot

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These “Walking Trees” in Ecuador Can Allegedly Move Up to 20 Meters per Year

The Socratea exorrhiza is perhaps the world’s only mobile tree. They say its complicated system of roots also serves as legs, helping the tree constantly move towards sunlight as the seasons change. Walking trees can apparently move up to 2-3 cm per day, or 20 meters per year. That may not sound like much, but it’s pretty much a marathon by tree-standards.

Rainforest guides in Latin American countries like Ecuador have been telling tourists about the amazing walking trees for decades now. The most common version of the story is that the tree slowly ‘walks’ in search of the sun by growing new roots towards the light and allowing its old roots to die. The unusual roots, split from the trunk a few feet above the ground, add to the illusion of the tree having legs.

“As the soil erodes, the tree grows new, long roots that find new and more solid ground, sometimes up to 20m,” explained Peter Vrsansky, a palaeobiologist from the Slovak Academy of Sciences who lived for a few months in the Unesco Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, about a day’s journey from Ecuador’s capital Quito.

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