This may sound very strange, but I witnessed some very strange plant behavior last night in the rain. Not being able to find anything about it online, I thought perhaps it might be a unique enough phenomenon that I shouldn’t just forget about it and keep it to myself.
Last night when walking my dogs in the rain, I heard a chorus of high pitched tones. I realized that it’s coming from a patch of yellow irises. At first I thought it was insects or other organisms emitting the sound, but the tone was continuous, and it was definitely coming from each individual plant. My next thought was perhaps this is some sort of electronic humming, from the street light or something. But upon closer examination the tone was definitely coming from each individual plant. The pitch displayed slight deviations between different individuals, but each plant was making a constant single pitched tone that was quite loud. Some plants were slightly louder than others. The sound of this chorus of high pitched tones was quite phenomenal, and got louder. I checked other irises of the same kind planted near by but they were not making sounds. It was only that patch with what I assume interconnecting root network. These flowers, like all other plants in my neighborhood, were planted in the last 2 years as this is a newly constructed housing area. When I came back with my phone to record the event, just a few minutes later, there was no longer any sound. Disappointed, I tried a few more times but there were never any more sounds coming from that patch of irises.
I have never heard of anything like this before, nor can I find out anything about it online. There doesn’t seem to be any research published on plant sounds, but I felt like maybe it had something to do with the rain and water supply. While observing it in the rain I thought perhaps the sound could be whistling from the plant stalks as water or gas rushes up? Although it’s hard to imagine how that could produce such loud high pitched constant tones. But since it was every plant in that one patch and none of the others near it, this seemed like some sort of communication method to me. It’s just so odd.
Have you witnessed something like this yourself? Got any ideas what it could be? Please let me know in the comments below!