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In Australia, they found the largest factory in the world with an area of ​​20,000 football fields

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.

Photography by Rachel Austin

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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