Sydney, Australia (4E) – Scientists in Australia have discovered gold deposits on eucalyptus trees in the Outback.
Yes, you read that right — money can actually “grow” on trees.
According to research paper, eucalyptus and acacia trees, such as the ones studied at the Freddo and Barns Gold prospects in Western and South Australia respectively, have deep and extensive root systems. In times of drought, their roots dig deep in search of water. So deep, in fact, that some trees have literally struck gold.
The findings, which were published this week in the online journalNature Communications, show how biogeochemical adsorption of gold is possible. This, according to the researchers, could lead to new and more successful prospecting methods.
Researchers from Australia say that the presence of the particles in a eucalyptus tree’s foliage indicates that deposits are buried many metres below.
They believe that the discovery offers a new way to locate the sought-after metal in difficult-to-reach locations.
Gold particles have been found around the soils of eucalyptus trees, but the researchers confirmed that the plants were taking in the element.
Using the Australian synchrotron – a vast machine that uses X-rays to probe matter in remarkable detail – they found traces of gold in the leaves, twigs and bark of some trees.