Australian Researchers Discovered Gold in Eucalyptus Leaves: Fact Check


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Image about Australian Researchers Discovered Gold in Eucalyptus Leaves
Australian Researchers Discovered Gold in Eucalyptus Leaves

Story:

Australian researchers have discovered gold in Eucalyptus leaves. The roots of Eucalyptus trees can reach as deep as 130 feet underground in search of water, and in that process, they absorb gold particles from ore deposits. The gold is then stored in the leaves. Experts think it can be a cheaper way of discovering gold deposits.

Fact Check:

A story doing rounds on social media claims Australian researchers have discovered Gold in Eucalyptus leaves. It says roots of Eucalyptus trees can reach underground in search of water. And in that process, they absorb gold particles from ore deposits. It also says experts think it can be a cheaper way of discovering gold deposits. The claims are facts with some missing information explained here.

About the Study Finding Gold in Eucalyptus Leaves

The study in question appeared in Nature Communications in October 2013. It carried the title ‘Natural gold particles in Eucalyptus leaves and their relevance to exploration for buried gold deposits‘. For evidence of gold, a group led by Melvyn Lintern of Australia’s National Science Agency CSIRO tested both lab-grown and wild Eucalyptus trees. The researchers found that microscopic gold particles from underground ore deposits are present in tree leaves. In a thirsty search of water, the Eucalyptus tree roots can delve more than 130 feet (40 meters) deep underground. In the process, they happen to absorb gold dissolved in it. The study showed the wild eucalyptus trees were indeed sucking up gold (along with other metals) from deep underground through their tissues. However, the gold quantity found in Eucalyptus leaves is minute.

Minute Gold Quantity

Gold concentrations in the trees varied from 4 to 80 parts per billion with leaves showing the highest concentration and bark the lowest. The study authors also explained heavy metal Gold is probably toxic to plants and are therefore trying to get rid of it, moving it to extremities like leaves. Earlier, other researchers detected gold particles in plants and leaf litter. But it was not clear if they were transported all the way from underground deposits. Australian researchers from the finding published in 2013 suggested it could help mineral exploration companies mine for gold and may lead to future exploration.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact with Some Missing Information.

References:

Gold Grows On Eucalyptus Trees
Gold Particles in Eucalyptus Trees Can Reveal Deposits Deep Underground


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Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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