Tuesday, November 12, 2013

There's Gold in Them There Trees

Hey maybe you should check the leaves for gold?

Apparently some scientists have found gold in eucalyptus trees in Australia. The scientists examined the leaves, twigs and bark from eucalyptus trees that grew above known sites for underground stores of gold. The leaves were found to have gold in them. While an obvious answer to the gold leaves would probably be something like, the trees got dusted with gold from nearby drilling, this wasn’t quite true.


This is usually how we image gold
The researchers went one step further and planted eucalyptus saplings and grew them in soil that had gold. These little saplings drew the gold from the soil up into their leaves. Apparently these trees have the ability to transport metals from the soil all the way up into the tree as it grows. Upon further examination the researchers were able to confirm through special x-ray that the gold particles in the leaves were at a concentration of 46 parts per billion.


We turn it into theses...
There is a theory that the trees were absorbing the gold from the soil just as it absorbs other minerals from the ground. The reason it was deposited in the leaves is because the tree was trying to rid itself of the toxins in the heavy metal. This is probably true since my theory that the tree was trying to give itself a little sparkle and bling might seem silly to someone who isn’t into jewelry and I'm not sure trees are into jewelry.


Or one of theses
All this research is supposed to potentially offer an excavation free method of gold mining. While this might work, I wonder how much gold is lost deep in the tissue of the tree and of course you have to wait for the tree to grow. Don’t know if people have that much patience. Either way you look at it, it’s fascinating how a tree can absorb gold and transport it to its leaves. Nature is amazing.
But if we use eucalyptus trees to excavate gold, where will the koalas live?

No comments:

Post a Comment