The Conversation

Scientists Discover Gold Growing in Trees

(CNN) - Australian scientists recently debunked the adage "money doesn't grow on trees" when they discovered gold deposits in eucalyptus trees. Although it's not new that plants and trees absorb minerals like gold through their leaves, this marks the first time scientists have been able to prove that those minerals came from deeper underground sources and not from surface soil deposits. 

The scientists are hoping their findings will lead to a trusted form of gold prospecting.  According to their research, eucalyptus and acacia trees were studied at the Freddo and Barnes Gold prospects and were found to have such extensive root systems that in times of drought, their roots go deeper in search of water...until they literally strike gold. 

According to the 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 were published in the online journal Nature Communications and show that biogeochemical absorption of gold is possible which could lead to new and more successful prospecting methods.  

As of now, looking for gold in trees would prove more than difficult to the average prospector...the research found an average gold concentration of 80 parts per billion in tree's leaves, and a mere 4 parts per billion in bark...not visible to the naked eye.


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