The results of Ikea’s ‘bullied’ plant experiment – what scientists say

Ikea launched an experiment with two similar plants, asking children to ‘bully’ one of them, while complimenting the other and the results has gone viral over the last several days.

One of the largest furniture company, Ikea, decided to make an experiment based on two plants of the same type, size and age. They asked various school children to treat the two plants differently – to ‘bully’ one of the plants, by saying bad and ugly things to it and to ‘compliment’ the other one, by saying only nice things to it.

Ikea recorded the experiment on camera and released a video on the Internet to show everyone the results
Although it’s unclear what each child said to the ‘bullied’ plant, but things such as “you thicko photosynthesizing green-stemmed twat” or “leafy little bastard” may be among the phrases used by children. On a real recording, children were heard to say “you’re not even green” and even ask the plant if it is actually alive.

The other plant received nicer thoughts and phrases. One child said “I like your stamen, that’s a nice stamen”, while another said “I wish I could turn sunlight into food like you can, that’s very clever.”

The experiment lasted 30 days and over the course of this period, the recorded insults and compliments were played to the respectively plants.

At the end of this period, Ikea emphasized the results: the plant that received insults, negative thoughts from children and different bad words looked quite different from the one that only received compliments and positive words. The bullied plant had visibly wilted, while the other remained healthy and beautiful.

This experiment was understood differently by each individual. While some took it as a confirmation that plants are similar to humans, that they have feelings and can hear and understand people when they’re talking to them, others found Ikea’s experiment intriguing or even disturbing.

According to scientists, there is no evidence to back up the theory that plants have feelings just like humans and we’d hazard a guess that no such evidence of this theory will ever show up in the future. What’s known for sure is that plants do react to vibrations or sounds, one study even showing that they are capable of pollinating in reaction to bee buzzing.