Once upon a time there was a small seed that resulted from two different types of seaweed. Far from the infamous presence of humans, in the quiet and silence of the abyss, the seed rested comfortably in a spot in what is now Shark Bay, off the western coast of Australia, and began to grow. 100 years passed, then a thousand, then 4500: today this seed has become the largest plant on Earth and has an area of \u200b\u200b200 square kilometers, which is confirmed by guardian Which is equivalent to 20,000 football fields or the island of Manhattan repeated 3 times plus a small piece.
Prior to this discovery, the species, called Posidonia australis, was thought to be a fairly common plant on the southern coasts of Australia. But when scientists began looking for genetic differences in the plant across the bay, they stumbled upon a mystery. Specimens taken from sites 180 km away suggest that there are no longer Posidonia australis specimens, but a single plant. “We thought ‘What the hell is going on here?'” said ecologist Martin Breed. ” guardian. Continuing their studies, the researchers found that it is the same plant that stretches like massive grass (here video), providing a habitat for a wide variety of marine species including turtles, dolphins, dugongs, crabs and fish. As the scientists pointed out, the plant is “non-sexual” and appears to be “largely sterile”: at its 4,500-year-old age, it can rely solely on its ability to grow by self-reproduction, rather than by spreading seeds.
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