Sonic Cone

Parallel Earth: 060408
Designation: Permanent Collection
Parallel Historian: Ben Tumbling.

sonic cone 02

Türklopfer Sonic Cone
Rainier Eichen Expedition (est. 2015, Tauremorn Forest, Germany), 2015
Arboreal cutting
Note the parabolic shape.

It has long been common horticultural wisdom that plants react to sound. Fairy tales tell of forests that listen, of reeds that sing, of magic roots that rut to music. Plants speak to us and each other through sound in old wives’ tales that, in some cultures, predate the written word.

It has taken science a few thousand years but the wisdom of old wives has finally been confirmed in a spectacular way. In 2010, the Tauremorn forest in Germany was officially identified as a superorganism on a scale so massive that the complexity of its systems, including all the species involved directly and indirectly in them, are still being determined.

The ant in the anthill that is the Tauremorn Forest is the Pan-Germanic Knocking Tree, known colloquially as türklopfer (literally “knocker”). The tree takes its name from the distinctive noise made by hundreds of gallons of sap running through notches under the surface of its trunk which then forces the wood to expand and contract. The audible effect is a rhythmic tapping that can sometimes be heard from kilometers away.

sonic cone normal 01

Türklopfer Reproductive Cone
Rainier Eichen Expedition (est. 2015, Tauremorn Forest, Germany), 2015
Arboreal cast off

The specimen on file is an excellent example of a sonic cone from one such tree. Like cedar trees,  produce clusters of seeds in the form of cones. Unlike cedars, türklopfer make two kinds of cones: regular reproductive cones and special cones shaped like parabolic microphones that actually register sound. What the trees do with the stimuli is still somewhat of a mystery. However, a recent bio-cartographical survey shows that türklopfer are found growing in rough circles that expand outward from the forest’s center, with the largest concentration of the species forming a ring around the border. Even more curious: the single biggest grouping of knockers, some one thousand trees, can be located right on the forest’s edge to the northeast, which just so happens to be the direction of the nearest populated town.

sonic cone 05

2016-01-26-parallel-history-museum-02-blk TINY

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