Open and close, pine cone is actually a hygrometer.
Open and close, pine cone is actually a hygrometer.
Lovely pine cone ~

Today, the main thing is to enjoy a video, which can also be played by yourself at home. Soak the dry open pine tower into the water and observe that it slowly closes its scales. If the pine cone is fished out and dried, it will slowly open again.

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the following is a delay video, corresponding to a total of about 48 hours:

the scale opening and closing of these pine cones are controlled by humidity. There are dead cells on the mature pineal scales, and moisture absorption and drying is a process of passive change. To put it simply, it is related to the tissue with two different structures on the pine cone scale. if the pine cone is cut open, two different structures can be observed:

in the tissues on the inside and outside, the fiber structures are arranged in different directions. this also affects their hygroscopic and swelling properties. Because of the difference in moisture absorption and expansion (the outer layer is easier to absorb and expand, while the inner layer is not easy to change), the scales of pine cones change the degree of bending in different humidity conditions.

there is a small experiment that uses this property of pine cones to make a simple hygrometer, but of course it can't have a very accurate reading, but it still looks cute:

Pine cone hygrometer details:

researchers can also artificially design such a material with uneven moisture absorption and expansion on both sides and make it move through humidity changes. I mentioned earlier that a laboratory has done evaporation-driven cars, which actually make use of many of these small devices that bend straight under different humidity:

read more: this is interesting! 2015 A short inventory of interesting scientific achievements