Science Magazine

Yes, You Heard That Right: Money Grows on Trees!

Posted on the 24 October 2013 by Ningauble @AliAksoz

Would you believe if anybody tells you that money grows on trees? We are not talking about paper money of course, however in the very underground of Australia, scientist have found money growing on trees. These are eucalyptus leaves that are injected with tiny amounts of pure gold. In difficult-to-reach locations, these flamboyant leaves can aid natural-resource exploration companies scout new underground gold deposits.


Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) explored that trees in Australia and some other place in the world can be utilized to spot gold deposits that are more than 30 meters (100 feet) below the surface.  Little quantities of gold are dissolved in water, which is then sucked up by tree roots and the particles eventually find themselves deposited in the leaves of the trees

How small is the quantity? 

According to CSIRO Researcher Melvyn Lintern, to discover such tiny concentrations you can’t just use a conventional microscope. The Australian scientists had to use a synchrotron, a vast room-sized machine that uses X-rays to map the various elements present in a sample. You would need to harvest 500 trees growing over a gold deposit to be able to make a gold ring. In scientific terms, we’re talking about a gold concentration of just 100 parts-per-billion in leaves, and about 50 ppb in twigs.

If analyzing a few leaves help scientists discover gold deposits — and we shall be advised that around 30% of the world’s gold reserves are believed to be under the Goldfields-Esperance region in Australia – there is no reason why this technique can’t be applied to other important and valuable metals, such as copper and platinum, too.

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