Gold is an extremely valuable asset to our planet for a number of reasons. From attractive jewellery to an important substance used in space exploration due to its non-corrosive properties, gold has made its mark as a metal which could shape the future of humanity in the years to come.
Gold was a favorite among the Egyptians and this fact is well corroborated with the amount of gold possessions discovered in the Egyptian tombs inside the Pyramids. Even the caskets used to be made purely of gold. The ancient old craze for gold has also seen many battles in which countless people have paid the price with their lives.
Gold deposits are found all around the world, and recently in Australia, researchers have made an interesting discovery which may help to unearth gold deposits lying deep underground.
Researchers in Australia have detected gold particles in the leaves of Eucalyptus trees, a sign that indicates the presence of deeply buried gold deposits nearby.
To locate naturally occurring gold particles in the leaves, twigs and bark of Eucalyptus trees, geochemist Dr. Melvyn Lintern and colleagues at CSIRO used a technique called X-ray imaging to detect “gold nuggets” about one-fifth the diameter of a human hair. Minute gold particles, at concentrations not harmful to the tree, are absorbed by the roots and transported to its extremities, where the highest concentrations were observed.
The eucalypt acts as a hydraulic pump — its roots extend tens of meters into the ground and draw up water containing the gold..
“The eucalypt acts as a hydraulic pump — its roots extend tens of meters into the ground and draw up water containing the gold. As the gold is likely to be toxic to the plant, it’s moved to the leaves and branches where it can be released or shed to the ground,” said Lintern.
The study, published in Nature Communications, may lead to a new way of locating buried gold deposits in difficult to reach locations without digging to great depths.
This new technique will surely help to locate gold deposits in more areas around the world in a cost effective manner but at the same time, it might also create some motivation among people for planting more trees, thus making our planet greener, although temporarily, as they would only be dug out later after discovering new gold deposits. A discovery that might cost us more than what we can earn from it.