When David Latimer planted a seed in a glass bottle on Easter Sunday 1960, he had no idea that it would grow into a swath of greenery that would thrive untouched for decades. Despite the fact that the last time Latimer watered it was in 1972, the sealed bottle garden is still growing as vigorously as ever, filling the bottle entirely with lush plant life.
After pouring some compost into the globular bottle, Latimer carefully lowered a spiderwort seedling into the mix, followed by a pint of water. The bottle was sealed and placed in a bright spot, and the magic of photosynthesis took over. The bottle garden was completely cut off from fresh water and air except for a single watering in 1972, but it still managed to form its own self-sufficient ecosystem. Plants obtain the energy they require to grow by absorbing sunlight through photosynthesis. The process also produces oxygen and moisture in the air; the moisture accumulates inside the bottle and “rains” back down on the plants.
Leaves that rot at the bottom of the bottle produce the carbon dioxide required for photosynthesis and nutrition.
It’s incredible that with just a little bit of sunlight, the plants can thrive even in this one-of-a-kind environment, successfully creating a microcosm of the Earth in a bottle. Latimer, who is now 80 years old, hopes that when he dies, his grown children will continue the experiment.
Al Griffin says
I would gladly adopt your little world if your family does not want it.
Mary Leon says
Remember this article when someone tells us not to water our yard, or lawn. All of the water that was on the Earth at the beginning of time, is still here. Precipitation may shift from one area to another, but the water that hits the ground evaporates and comes down as rain.
My dad used to tell me this 60 years ago. Makes sense!
Razia Husain says
Water takes time to filter through earth and collect in the water table below or rain from above. We have been using fresh clean water at a rate faster than this cycle, that is why we need to conserve water and use it only as much as can be sustained by the natural water cycle.
That’s so true. As a kid (older kid now) I wondered where the water I drink has been before. Was it part of the ocean, evaporated into the clouds and came back down to earth for a animal to drink? Maybe it urineated part of it out ,than died. Both parts of that water were absorbed into the earth,than pumped up out of ground for human consumption?
On and on it goes, no one knows where that water may go.
Nancy Domin says
As you said, it’s about water distribution. When you water your lawn, the grass uses the water when there are people who don’t have enough water to drink.
Kim Quinn says
Yes, Job 36: 26-28,
26, Yes, God is greater than we can know; The number of his years is beyond comprehension.
27, He draws up the drops of water; They condense into rain from his mist;
28, Then the clouds pour it down; They shower down upon mankind.
10, For just as the rain and the snow pour down from heaven And do not return there until they saturate the earth, making it produce and sprout, Giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
Hail satan says
Some stupid religious freak must ruin the ruin the entirely normal discussion. Leave other with your bullshit alone.
Et phone home says
You only feel the need to attack a spiritual answer because of the spirits that are upon you. You don’t have to attack others for their beliefs you know. And as you know, most of us have freedom of speech so if you could of just skipped that person comment. No need to be a negative Nancy… Karen 🙂 have a blessed day
peter bager says
Du ved jo tydeligvis ikke noget om cyklus af vandet. 🙂 jeg tror ikke på gud, men ret vildt det er nævnt i de gamle skrifter.
Vandets cuklus er 48 år om at tage en runde.
Jeremy Dolezalek says
Wow! So you hate God? Otherwise why would you even mention it?
harm hindriks says
dit zijn teksten uit de oudheid. net zoals de grieken, romeinen.egypte en andere volken achterlieten om van te leren. wat heeft het er nou mee te maken dat dit teksten zijn uit een riligieus oude boeken zijn? beetje respect is wel op zijn plaats
You just made me laugh so hard I almost peed !!!!!! Thank you I haven’t laughed out loud in about a year so thank you!
Water does escape to space though; there is no such thing as staying same since “the beginning of time”.
On the Earth, water can exist in all three forms namely as a solid, liquid, or gas. Evaporation transforms liquid water into water vapor which can then freely move in the atmosphere as a gas.
Now, atmospheric molecules, including water vapor molecules, are in perpetual motion in all directions. Without the gravitational field of the Earth, those moving away from the planet would be lost. Even with the gravitational field, in the upper thin part of the atmosphere, a molecule moving outwards has little chance of colliding with another and would therefore be able to escape if it has sufficient speed.
The average speed of the gas, for example water vapor, depends on its temperature. The conditions of temperature at the altitude from which water molecules are able to escape indicate the earth can retain water vapor over geological time scales, that is, over several billion years.
The retention of water vapor on our planet is also favored by the fact that it can condense, form clouds at an altitude well below the one from which water molecules can escape and precipitate back to the ground as rain or snow.
Adding to all these, we have to remember that water is also introduced in the hydrological cycle from the interior of the planet, for example, every time that a volcanic eruption occurs.
So, to summarize, even if a few water molecules are continuously lost to space, the average level remains fairly constant over geological times, which is millions to billions of years.
send to me please yur f riend at postime
The lack of understand conveyed in your comment is amazing. Firstly, at the beginning of time, there was no water on Earth – whether you choose the Biblical or scientific view. Secondly, whether or not you should water your garden has nothing to do with the water cycle and everything to do with you wasting water from a limited municipal supply. If you want some real advice – get rid of the lawn and plant plants that suit your location and climate – then trust nature. You’ll never need to water again.
And also… some H2O in the atmosphere is gets split by UV. At that point, some of the hydrogen being very light can be lost from the atmosphere into space.
Round Rock Official Site says
I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s articles all the time
along with a cup of coffee.
Cynthia Collins says
Inspirational!!! I love this!
steven cottrell says
how does the inside of the bottle keep clean
There’s nothing in there to make it dirty.
Lars Carlsen says
Clean from what. 😊
Petr Šraier says
Which kind of plant?
Eric Stout says
it says in the article… spiderwort
Ashley Bell says
katherine hicks says
Incredible am soon doing the same practical
Surabaya Media says
we have to start implementing this cool experiment on planet mars
Jacek Grudniewski says
I can not believe it! In my house, the plants don’t last even 2 months.
Seal your house, add a glass water and stay away.
Probably your plants will live for years 😉
Mike Oppenheim says
If I claim that this is a fake I might be wrong. But NOT ONE OF YOU has suggested that. That’s positively creepy! I haven’t investigated it, but all efforts to provide a complete sustainable environment in huge sealed volumes have failed, so it strikes me as odd that this is possible in a bottle. Has anyone researched this?
Mogens Pilgaard Sørensen says
Incredible. Energy through experiments like this is so fulfilling to observe.
Any particular kind of bottle needed for this?
Would love to give it a try myself 💚
That was about as big of a fucking asshole as I’ve ever seen on her.yea I’m talking about you and your comment but I tell you what I’d rather of wasted all these years believing there is a God and there not be one than spend my life like you and there really be one because you’ll be screwed no doubt