Tall Tales

Scientists teach spinach to send emails

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Scientists say they have taught spinach to send emails as part of an effort to warn of impending drought. Using carbon nanotubes embedded in the plant leaves, signals are sent to an infrared camera that triggers an email alert to the researchers. “Plants are very environmentally responsive,” said one of the team. “They know that there is going to be a drought long before we do.”

Mum’s toilet trip broadcast to class

A mum was embarrassed after her son walked in on her using the toilet while he was on a video call to his entire class. The woman was answering the call of nature when her son came in with his iPad and asked her to unmute the microphone. “What a beautiful sight for that class this morning. 9am is not too early for one small wine right?”, she said afterwards.

Smuggler caught with cactus strapped to her body

A woman in New Zealand has been sentenced to 12 months of intensive supervision and 100 hours of community work after being caught trying to smuggle nearly 1,000 cacti and succulents. Wenqing Li had tried to smuggle 947 succulents and cacti by putting them inside stockings and strapping them on her body. The plants were worth over $10,000 (£7,355) and included eight endangered and threatened species.

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