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  • Here at the Eden Project, in the world's largest rainforest in captivity,

  • one plant has been storing up its energy for years and years and years,

  • and it's just finishing releasing all that in one disgusting 48-hour period.

  • This is a corpse flower, and it smells like death.

  • It's a bit like a dead rat, mixed with rotten fish.

  • Some people describe it like a bin that hasn't been cleaned out for maybe two or three weeks.

  • It's the smell of decay.

  • These plants use flies and beetles the way many plants use bees: for pollination.

  • The smell of death: that's very attractive to flies and beetles

  • looking for somewhere to lay eggs.

  • These bloom only after it's managed to store enough energy,

  • and that can take anywhere between 7 and 10 years.

  • Titan arums bloom for just 48 hours.

  • On the first night, it can only receive pollen.

  • The second night, it releases pollen. It cannot self-pollinate.

  • Over time, evolution will move species towards strategies

  • with the greatest chance of reproductive success.

  • And on the face of it, the corpse flower's strategy doesn't seem that good:

  • just 48 hours every few years.

  • I mean, surely a better idea would be reproduce as often as possible.

  • And there are a lot of plants that do that, as anyone with hay fever knows.

  • But there is another possible strategy:

  • store up energy for years and years and years,

  • and then burn it all in a couple of nights

  • to send out a mating call so big that everyone can smell it for miles.

  • It uses heat to make the smell travel further.

  • These plants are thermogenic. They create their own heat.

  • And they go up to around body temperature.

  • It's able to send its scent way up above the canopy layer of the rainforest,

  • where it can catch a breeze.

  • And then insects can smell one of these in bloom over 3,000 metres away.

  • It's the same temperature as a dying animal,

  • and the smell is of rotting flesh. And -- if you come in here --

  • this colour, we normally see in the butchers'.

  • This is the colour of flesh.

  • So by many ways, it's trying to lure in those flies and beetles,

  • thinking that they've found a corpse.

  • Which does just leave us with the question of the smell.

  • Now, I got here a few hours too late,

  • it's apparently past its worst, but...

  • ...yeah. Yeah, okay. That's bad! That's...

  • Thank you very much to the Eden Project for inviting me here!

  • They've got a YouTube channel you can check out,

  • and they are open year round in Cornwall, in the south west of England.

  • [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]

Here at the Eden Project, in the world's largest rainforest in captivity,

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B1 中級

死の匂いのする花 (The Flower That Smells Like Death)

  • 6 0
    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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