Does talking to plants really help them grow? It's a question that, I'm sure, keeps us all awake at night. Luckily, Carmichael Lynch and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have launched a social experiment (and marketing effort) called "Talk to a Plant," to probe this very issue.
One plant at the museum will "hear" tweets converted into human speech by an Arduino-based device. Another plant sits in silence nearby. Both are watered and tended to by staff. Which will grow stronger and healthier?
To take part in this odd experiment, just visit TalktoaPlant.com, log into your Twitter account and send the plant a message. Checking tweets via #talktoaplant, it seems that most folks, naturally enough, are sending their love and encouragement, bidding the green guy to grow big and strong.
Sending a note all the way from London, @ItsSeanBone gets into the spirit of things: "Plant, you're becoming famous. Make sure you keep yourself grounded." Heh. Plant humor. Not all the tweets are words of encouragement, though. "You deserve to die, plant," posts Parisian visitor @SylvainPaley. Sounds like someone needs a hug.
The campaign runs through Jan. 6, 2014, corresponding with "MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition" at the museum, a tie-in with the long-running Discovery Channel science show.
On the site, there are constant updates on each plant's health and growth. Leaf peepers can even enjoy a 24/7 live plant-cam. (Oddly, there's no tie-in with Vine.)
It's definitely a fun, creative way to build traffic and engage new audiences with a topic as dry as natural science, though the setup seems a tad sadistic. The budding star gets all those tweets from well-wishers, while the other guy's trapped in a silent hell. C'mon, dude, grow—I'm rootin' for ya!