Plants That Point To Hidden Ruins

photogravure1BLDG BLOG delves into the beauty of how plant life can reflect what is buried in the earth below, and could even be used to find the location of hidden treasure:

I absolutely love stories like this, and I swoon a little bit when I read them; it turns out that “plants growing over old sites of human habitation have a different chemistry from their neighbors, and these differences can reveal the location of buried ruins.”

The brief article goes on to tell the story of two archaeologists, who, in collecting plants in Greenland, made the chemical discovery: “Some of their samples were unusually rich in nitrogen-15, and subsequent digs revealed that these plants had been growing above long-abandoned Norse farmsteads.”

The idea that your garden could be more like an indicator landscape for lost archaeological sites—that, below the flowers, informing their very chemistry, perhaps even subtly altering their shapes and colors, are the traces of abandoned architecture—is absolutely unbelievable.

So why not develop a new type of flower in some gene lab somewhere, a designed species that reacts spectacularly to the elevated presence of nitrogen-15 from ruined settlements? Ruin Flowers® by Monsanto acting as deserted medieval village detection-landscapes, as thale cress does for mines.

You plant these flowers or trees or vineyards—future archaeological wine—and you wait three seasons for the traces to develop. Now imagine a modified tree that can only grow directly above ruined houses. Imagine an entire forest of these trees, curling and knurled to form floorplans, shaping out streets and alleyways, rooms instead of orchards and halls instead of groves. Now imagine the city beneath that forest becoming visible as the woods slowly spread, articulating whole lost neighborhoods over time.

Genetically-modified plantlife used as non-invasive archaeological research tools would, at the very least, add a strange practicality to summer gardening activities, in the process turning whole surface landscapes into an unexpected new kind of data visualization program.

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  • Gassorr

    And of course these modified flower will thrive in cities overwhelming the people, and we all turn out to be allergic when in large quantities :D

  • Gassorr

    And of course these modified flower will thrive in cities overwhelming the people, and we all turn out to be allergic when in large quantities :D

  • Kevingt

    What will the side affect of these Frankenflowers be?  Companies like Monsanto mess with the natural food chain without considering the consequences.  Will these plants take away the pollinators that are needed for plants within our existing food supply?  Will they become invasive and aggressive like kudzu?  Will they be toxic to other animals?  As science, it is interesting that they found this phenomenon in nature but I don’t think we need to create Frankenflowers just to find ancient civilizations.

  • Kevingt

    What will the side affect of these Frankenflowers be?  Companies like Monsanto mess with the natural food chain without considering the consequences.  Will these plants take away the pollinators that are needed for plants within our existing food supply?  Will they become invasive and aggressive like kudzu?  Will they be toxic to other animals?  As science, it is interesting that they found this phenomenon in nature but I don’t think we need to create Frankenflowers just to find ancient civilizations.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6AIS2IBPPEUUIYTHK3LU4W357Y Don Blackshock

      Frankenflower that’s even better!!!

  • Monsanto=evil

    This writer is an idiot (like most writers on this site)… Monsanto is pure evil making terminator seeds, and basically patenting plant species that already exist to control the food chain…. Ruin flowers hahaha just like they ruin corn and all other plants they splice.  Monsanto… stop playing god with out plants! And Jacob Sloan, please don’t reproduce… thank you.

  • Monsanto=evil

    This writer is an idiot (like most writers on this site)… Monsanto is pure evil making terminator seeds, and basically patenting plant species that already exist to control the food chain…. Ruin flowers hahaha just like they ruin corn and all other plants they splice.  Monsanto… stop playing god with out plants! And Jacob Sloan, please don’t reproduce… thank you.

    • Jin The Ninja

      Firstly, let me say MOST readers/posters on this site would NOT disagree that monsanto=evil.

      (i certainly AGREE.)

      Secondly- most (the vast vast majority) articles that appear are from other (actual NEWS) sources like the bbc or various blogs, or youtube.

      i don’t know jacob personally, but he didn’t do anything other than to post an article REGARDING monsanto’s environmental abuses….

      for me this site is about the discussion that is a result of diverse articles about a variety of topics. i assume that subtly was lost on you?

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    Firstly, let me say MOST readers/posters on this site would NOT disagree that monsanto=evil.

    (i certainly AGREE.)

    Secondly- most (the vast vast majority) articles that appear are from other (actual NEWS) sources like the bbc or various blogs, or youtube.

    i don’t know jacob personally, but he didn’t do anything other to post an article REGARDING monsanto’s environmental abuses….

    for me this site is about the discussion that is a result of diverse articles about a variety of topics. i assume that subtly was lost on you?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6AIS2IBPPEUUIYTHK3LU4W357Y Don Blackshock

    Ruin flowers Ha! That’s kinda funny…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6AIS2IBPPEUUIYTHK3LU4W357Y Don Blackshock

    Ruin flowers Ha! That’s kinda funny…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6AIS2IBPPEUUIYTHK3LU4W357Y Don Blackshock

    Frankenflower that’s even better!!!