Explosions, mushroom clouds — all good for short moss

Sphagnum reproduces with a bang that compensates for life so close to the ground

By Susan Milius, 13:58 PM July 23, 2010

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It’s not Armageddon, just moss reproduction.

On sunny days, scientists now realize, mushroom-shaped clouds routinely explode out of beds of sphagnum moss. Researchers captured the very tiny, very fast clouds of rising spores in action by videotaping moss at speeds of 10,000 frames per second.

Biologists have known that animal motions, such as jellyfish propulsion, can generate mushroom-cloud turbulence in water or air. Vortex rings, as these doughnut-shaped blasts are called,...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/deleted-scenes/explosions-mushroom-clouds-—-all-good-short-moss