Science

This Man Hasn’t Watered This Sealed Bottle For 54 Years and It’s Still Living

David Latimer planted this beauty in 1960 and it’s still living it large (within it’s own ecosystem). For 54 years since that fateful Easter Sunday, this 80-year-old man has kept this lush micro-forest alive and well in, what would be scientifically termed as, a closed system.

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He was a young man when Latimer began this lifelong project. He began by putting some compost and a quarter pint of water in a 10 gallon glass carboy and inserted a spider wort sprout through some wires. He sealed the system and except for once in 1972 to add some water, he has never opened it. All that gets in is sunlight.


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The system effectively acts as a self sufficient organism. The bacteria in the compost break down the dead plants and break down the oxygen given off by the plants, turning it in to carbon dioxide that the living plants need to survive. The little garden is an example of how the earth functions without anything but sunlight from the outside world.

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“The forest eats itself and lives forever.” -The Poisonwood Bible

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