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植物会思考吗? – 译学馆
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Can Plants Think?

地球上有超过300,000多种植物 毫无疑问它们已经进化出了发达的
With over 300,000 plants species on Earth, there’s no doubt that they have highly developed
生存和繁衍的神经 虽然植物的一些特征被比作人类的
senses to stay alive and thrive. But while some of their features may be compared to
味觉 视觉 触觉和嗅觉 但你有没有想过 植物能思考吗
taste, sight, touch and smell in humans, have you ever wondered – can plants think?
在陆地上 植物的累计数目是动物的1000倍
On land, the cumulative mass of plants is 1000 times higher than that of animals. But
但是植物所在的位置是固定的 它们无法移动 这看起来
these plants are immobile and can’t move around in their environment; which is, seemingly,
似乎是进化过程中的一大败笔 这迫使植物不得不以一些惊人的
a pretty big evolutionary disadvantage. This has forced plants to adapt in amazing ways
that often go unnoticed by the naked eye.
闻到了什么奇怪的味道吗 植物也能闻到 并且它们能对这些弥散在空气中的化学物质做出回应
Smell something funny? Plants do too – and they react to these chemicals in the air.
例如 当果实开始成熟 它们会释放出一种叫乙烯的化学物质
For example, when fruits start to ripen, they release a chemical called ethylene. And when
当周围的果实感觉到了这种信息素它们就会加快成熟的速度 因此所有的果实
neighbouring fruits sense this pheromone, they ripen faster, so that all fruits mature
at the same time. Plants also give off scents which attract insects to spread their pollen.
尤为奇特的是 腐尸花长着细细的菌丝体 摸起来暖暖的
In particular, the amazing carrion flowers grow tiny hairs, feel warm and smell like
闻着有种腐烂的尸体的味道 这是腐尸花吸引苍蝇和甲虫
rotting flesh in an attempt to mimic a dead corpse. This is to attract flies and beetles
as pollinators.
另一方面 当植物被昆虫 动物 或病菌 侵袭时 植物自己也知道
On the other hand, when a plant is attacked by an insect, animal or pathogen, it knows.
当刺槐树被动物啃食时 它们会迅速地产生叫做
When acacia trees are grazed by animals, they quickly react by producing chemicals called
丹宁酸的化学物质进行反抗 从而使得动物没有食欲并且很难消化最终离开 一些甚至能产生足以
tannins, which make their leaves unappetizing and tough to digest. Some even produce enough
把动物杀死的毒素 可能更令人赞叹的植物是玉米植株和棉树
toxin to kill the animal. Perhaps more impressive are some corn and cotton plants, which when
当它们被毛虫啃食时 会向空气中释放能吸引寄生黄蜂的化学物质
eaten by caterpillars, release chemicals in the air that attract parasitic wasps, who
黄蜂会快速赶来最终杀死这些昆虫从某种程度上说 它们能与黄蜂交流
fly in and ultimately kill the insects. On some level, they communicate with the wasps.
尽管这听起来像无稽之谈 但的确毛虫大声咀嚼叶片的录音
Crazy as it seems, even sound recordings of caterpillars chewing leaves, trigger this
都能促使植物做出这一反应 无需任何触摸 植物就会做出反应 就像它们听得见一样
response. Without any form of touch, the plants react, as if they can hear.
从大范围来看 植物也能合作 一个地下真菌网能连接
On a large scale, plants also work together. A web of underground fungi can connect tree
整个森林树木的根系 使得树木能够彼此交换养分和信息
roots in forests, allowing them to exchange nutrients and information. Using radioactive
通过放射性同位素的研究 科学家发现树木能和其他有需要的同类分享水和养分
isotopes, scientists discovered that trees share water and nutrients with others in need.
Large trees nourish smaller shaded ones until they are tall enough to reach sunlight, and
trees that stay green all year round share nutrients with trees that lose their leaves
帮助它们度过这个季节 到了夏天落叶树又会反过来报答常绿树
in winter – helping them through the season. Which is then repaid in the summer months,
就像是一场交易 一些科学家把这称作‘植物万维网’
like a transactional exchange. Some scientist refer to this as the ‘wood-wide web’.
可能最令人震惊的事实是 有些植物似乎拥有记忆
Perhaps the most shocking fact, is that some plants seem to have memory. Mimosa pudica
含羞草是一种多叶植物 受到外力触碰会立即闭合 这个反应是要
plants, are those leafy plants that close up when touched. This reflex is meant to scare
吓走停留在它周围的昆虫 在一个有关这样的反应的实验中 科学家注意到
away insects that land on them. In an experiment on these reflexes, scientists notice that
当含羞草从15cm高掉落到地面时它们会闭合 这没什么好惊讶
when dropped from 15cm they would close when they hit the ground. Not so surprising. But
但是在重复这个实验4到5次之后 一些含羞草就不再闭合了
after repeating the drop 4 or 5 times, some of the plants stopped closing, as though they
就像它们好像意识到这个刺激因素并没有害处如果它们被摇晃的话 它们就会闭合
had realized the stimulus wasn’t harmful. If they were shaken instead, they would close,
但是任何一次把它们从相同高度扔下 它们都不会闭合 这个效果
but any time they were dropped from this same height, they stayed open. This effect lasted
for weeks – the plants had memories.
当然 植物并没有大脑或者其它我们认为和智力有关的细胞或组织
Of course, plants don’t have brains or other cells and organs that we deem necessary for
大脑和神经是无可替代的 但植物无法移动并且经常受到袭击
intelligence. Brains and neurons are irreplaceable, but plants are immobile and often attacked,
so they must be able to survive after part of them is eaten, or destroyed. A brain just
这时大脑就没什么用了 但是如果你以解决问题的能力
wouldn’t work. But if you measure intelligence or thought as the ability to solve problems,
interact with an environment, and even work in groups, then plants are incredibly smart.
It’s something to think about next time you’re munching down on a piece of broccoli!
And if you need any more convincing that plants are indeed, amazing – check out our new second
AsapTHOUGHT 我们会在这里分享一些有关植物的事实
channel AsapTHOUGHT, where we share some of our other favourite plant facts. Link in the
Thanks to for giving you a free audio book of your choice at
Audible是有声读物的领导者 拥有超过150,000篇可下载的涉及
Audible is the leading provider of audiobooks with over 150,000 downloadable titles across
all types of literature.
查看’The Monkey’s Voyaga’ 在这我们会提供一些关于植物和动物
Check out ‘The Monkey’s Voyage’ which proposes some new theories on how plant and animal
如何进化成今天这个样子的最新理论 你可以在上免费下载本篇有声读物
species wound up as they are today. You can download this audio book or another of your
或任何一篇你喜欢的 然后使用苹果windows或安卓设备
choice for free at Then use audible’s free app to listen on your apple,
上audible的软件免费听 感谢audible使这些视频可以使用
windows or android device. Special thanks to audible for making these videos possible
and for offering you a free audio book of your choice at
And subscribe for more weekly science videos.
And subscribe for more weekly science videos.