- Researchers are developing ways to use cues from plant life to locate human bodies in forest areas.
- Foot patrols and rescue teams often struggle to find bodies in heavy forests, but the plants react strongly to the presence of endangered humans and offer a beacon to notify search teams that something is being buried or destroyed nearby.
- In the future, plants may be an important tool in locating missing persons in the wild.
An amazing number of people died in the wooded areas. Although it is a terrible accident that a person puts their bodies there by trying to hide the remains, it is incredibly difficult for search parties to find human remains in the dense jungle, even with the help of canons.
Now, a new study has been published Trends in Plant Science Plants offer the potential to become an important ally in the search for decaying carcasses. When a human body is damaged, it can dramatically change the structure of the soil and thereby affect the plants growing nearby. Those plans will then act as a beacon and inform search teams to areas of interest.
The research, led by a team from the University of Tennessee, points to changes in plant behavior in the presence of endangered species. They call the area around a body a “dead decomposition island” because it is significantly different from other forest soils.
Neil Stewart, co-author of the research, writes: “When people disappear and die, it is due to natural causes or bad play – when the weather is hot, their bodies begin to rot.” Conversation. “When they rot in the forest in the shade, it is difficult if not impossible to find and recover their bodies. One solution is to learn how plants react to human rot, and then listen to what they have to say about people who have died under their canopy. ”
The greatest contribution to the soil in which a corpse is located is a large influx of nitrogen. Plants love nitrogen, which causes growth and leaves of surrounding plants to turn greener than usual. As Stewart points out, there can be other changes depending on the medication a person is taking or the metals found in the body.
Researchers still have a long way to go before a framework for receiving clues from plant life, but their early work is promising. Among the few obstacles left to address is how to distinguish changes in plant life from that of a dead man and an animal of similar size, such as a large deer. Going forward, the team hopes to better understand what “trees and shrubs have to say to us about missing people”.