JUL 06, 2015 7:56 PM PDT

Check Out These Underwater Plant Greenhouses

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

You probably know a person or two that are into gardening, but some extreme forms of growing plants involve greenhouses, which can be used to harvest plants in large numbers. Greenhouses are typically climate-controlled and can be used to plant plants that aren't native to a specific area.

But, even greenhouses on land aren't the most extreme form of heavy-duty gardening.

The sea floor is proving to be a good place to grow plants that would typically be found on land thanks to the use of special underwater greenhouses.

Off of the coast of Italy, a greenhouse experiment called Nemo's Garden is taking place under water. These greenhouses are at the bottom of the sea about 6-9 meters down where temperatures are typically very stable (around 77-79º Fahrenheit) and where carbon dioxide is highly abundant.

The greenhouses are actually large spheres that trap air from the outside world when submerged. Plants can then be stored in these spheres underwater, where they are very well hidden from insects and other pests that would typically tear them apart on land.

Evaporating water from the sea drips down on the plants from the inside surface of the biosphere as fresh water, providing the plants with something to drink, while sunlight from above the sea shines down to the biospheres, providing plants with the necessary sunlight.

Sea animals pose very little threat to the plants, as they're well protected in their little underwater spheres.

What's interesting about this project is that all kinds of plants can survive in these conditions underwater. Strawberry plants are among some of the plants being grown under water in these biospheres.



"I try to do something that's a little different and to show the beauty of the ocean," Sergio Gamberini, president of Ocean Reef Group said. "I hope to do something for the young people and to inspire new dreams."

It hasn't been all fun and games. There have been a lot of failures that have helped lead to conclusions to make the plant-growing process underwater better. Learning form mistakes each time, the team has been able to improve on their biosphere designs and make the plants more stable under water.

"It's been a learning curve," said Sergio's son, Luca Gamberini. "We completely lost the crops four times, but it didn't really matter because we have such great growth rates."

If this continues to show a sustainable way to grow plants, it could revolutionize the way produce crops are grown.

Source: Ocean Reef Group

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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