Endangered seeds
April 12, 2009 5:58 PM   Subscribe

These strange alien structures are among the seeds and pollen conserved at the Kew Millennium Seed Bank
posted by Brandon Blatcher (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

This has been a long-standing question with me, so I'm glad to see it answered: How long can seeds live? ...Extrapolation (often a risky procedure) to viability loss under more favourable storage conditions suggests that, for instance, Mung Beans might live for nearly 24,000 years, and the African grass, Teff (Eragrostis tef), could live for 15,000 years.

Wow. Goes on to describe many long time-span experiments, which also brings to mind the clock of the long now. ISTR (but can't find now) a branch of theirs dedicated to caretaking scientific studies that span centuries.
posted by DU at 6:09 PM on April 12, 2009

posted by device55 at 6:31 PM on April 12, 2009

Sand Milkwort looks (and sounds) like a muppet.
posted by ErWenn at 6:41 PM on April 12, 2009

I don't want this to sound like snark, but I'd love to also see these without the fake colouring-in. Not enough to do the screen-grabs and desaturation myself, mind you.
posted by nowonmai at 7:30 PM on April 12, 2009

False color images show more detail than greyscale images: http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/1132/False-Color-Photography.html
posted by device55 at 8:33 PM on April 12, 2009

Yeah but think that this is not so much false colour photography as described in your article, where detail in wavelengths not normally visible to the human eye is revealed, as a case of somebody taking a greyscale image into Photoshop and colouring it in for artistic or illustrative effect. Fake colour as opposed to false colour. And fugly, in my opinion, in some of these shots.
posted by nowonmai at 8:48 PM on April 12, 2009

Those spikes - no wonder they can cause so much grief to allergy sufferers!
posted by jeffmik at 8:49 PM on April 12, 2009

Alien? In what sense are they alien? Did they pollinate us, so to say, from outer space?
posted by sour cream at 12:05 AM on April 13, 2009

Thanks for the reminder to stock up on anti-histamines.
posted by srboisvert at 1:51 AM on April 13, 2009

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