• Question: When a plant explodes what happens?

    Asked by bandor03 to Julie on 16 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Julie Speakman

      Julie Speakman answered on 16 Nov 2013:

      Hey bandor03
      Sorry for the delay, this question really got me thinking and I was trying to work out what you meant.
      If we think about the cells of a plant, I think you can have a process which is called something like cytolosis, which is when the individual cells explode.

      It is also quite common for plants to explode as a way of spreading their seeds. All plants need to find a way of surviving and creating n their next generation and this is often by spreading their seeds far and wide. Some rely on birds to do it for them but others literally wait for the right time then bang! Just launch their seeds everywhere!

      But, my plant biology is not great so one of the others might know more about this.
      The other thing I thought is that we use the word plant sometimes when we’re talking about places that are like factories, so nuclear power plants or chemical plants. If plants like these explode there can be a very loud noise, a big cloud and even damage to nearby buildings and pollution to the environment. Sometimes the chemical or radioactive products that are released as part of the explosion can cause problems for a long time after.

      Explosion is generally to do with a build up of energy or pressure inside a system which is then released very suddenly. After it has happened, something is often released – in the case of plants and their seeds, this may be a good thing as it is helping their species survive and grow, but in the case of an industrial plant explosion this can be nasty chemicals or radioactive material.

      Does this answer your question? Ask me more if you’re not sure or we could try the other scientists?