Plants that breathe water from the “air” 

This is not a story of “fire breathing dragons” – because they don’t exist; but alas a story of “air breathing plants” which do exist and are an incredible answer to challenges that evolution solves to explore and “enjoy” new ecological niches. An ecological niche is described as an environmental setting that an organism adapts to which makes it particularly suitable.  

This is my second post exploring drawing as a means to communicate. I hope you will join me in making detailed observational drawings of things you post. 

Enjoy the story of the “great” air breathing plant. Any of you can buy this plant at any garden store and solve the unsolved mysteries hidden right under your eye. 
An important reason to think about this; is also the fact that as a society – we are running out of options to provide clean water for everyone on the planet. Billions of people have no access to clean water – and technologies that can practically pull out water from the air, are crucial bridge to making clean water accessible to people around the world. Are you up to the challenge? Of yes, think small, think surface tension and think biology. Good luck. 


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    This is a self note. I am excited about kids taking on to sketching and drawing as a means to map the microscopic world. I have tarted my own explorations on the same – but inwouldnlike to see other kids also engage.

    For example; see what’s done in urban planning.


  2. Saad Bhamla says:

    @manu – beautiful post.
    you’re sketches are really setting a good standard for other aspiring micro-nauts 🙂

    Can you share the name of the plant ? I am thinking of making a visit to a plant store.

    It is becoming clear to me that having a live organisms around is a really convenient thing to have 🙂


  3. Manu Prakash says:

    @saad: Any epiphyte will do.
    You can buy them easily in California for $5; and they last for years without anyone taking care of them.. it solves the problem of forgetting to water a plant.

    More specifically, the biology is tremendously interesting..

    To buy, google epiphyte air plants and click on “shopping” links.


  4. Matthew Rossi says:

    @manu this is next level sketch work! I know these are of real things, but I’m reminded of the work in the Codex Seraphinianus. This is really extraordinary.

  5. laksiyer says:

    @Manu. Are these trichomes on both surfaces of the leaf or just “upper surface”? What an amazing structure, the fan!! I wonder what the evolutionary history of this structure is? Are these multicellular and how many cells in the trichome. Want to image this.

  6. laksiyer says:

    I have read that epiphyte cups are a great source of ciliates and bacteria— just a note for us to check this.

Leave a Reply