Going by a couple different names, including ‘touch-me-not’ and the ‘sensitive plant,’ mimosa pudica has been studied by researchers trying to figure out whether or not this plant is actually an animal.

Dr. Monica Gagliano of the University of Western Australia wanted to find out whether or not this plant had a short and long-term memory, as well as if it had any learning capabilities.

To test this, they placed a Mimosa plant in high-light and low-light environments, and used a custom-designed apparatus to repeatedly drop water onto the plant.

The researchers were able to demonstrate that the Mimosa plant ceased to close its leaves once it had recognized that the regular drops of water had no real negative or damaging effects on the plant. It was found that these plants learned this behavior “in a matter of seconds,” just as animals are quick to learn when subjected to harsh environments.

To further this amazing find, the plants were seen to remember everything they had learned several weeks before, even when the environmental conditions differed.

“Astonishingly, Mimosa can display the learned response even when left undisturbed in a more favorable environment for a month. This relatively long-lasting learned behavioral change as a result of previous experience matches the persistence of habituation effects observed in many animals,” note the biologists in their paper (which has been published online in *Oecologia *journal).

“Plants may lack brains and neural tissues but they do possess a sophisticated calcium-based signaling network in their cells similar to animals’ memory processes,” says the team.

While the biologists admit that they do not fully understand this learning mechanism and its basis in biology, their experiment has implications for the boundaries that distinguish plants from animals; specifically, the widely-accepted notion that learning is a trait unique to beings with a nervous system.

h/t sci news

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This Unique Spanish Home Was Built Under a Rolling Hill and Is Completely Eco-Friendly

You wouldn’t know there was a home resting inside of this rolling hillside were it not for the roof sloping downward over a parked car and bicycles. Known as the Live Garden House, this vaulted home was built into a hillside and features traditional construction techniques practiced in Zaragoza, Spain.

Spanish designers sought to create a fully sustainable home that used locally-sourced materials for its construction. They achieve their vision with this zero-energy structure that lets in natural sunlight, has a natural ventilation system and features a rainwater collection system.

All of its sustainable features are made even better by placing them underneath an undulating green roof (which has plants and vegetation growing on top of it). Not only does the home look beautiful inside, it fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.

And the inside is just as welcoming and serene as the outside. Take a look for yourself!

h/t Inhabitat

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The REAL Reason Barns Are Usually Red

Almost every barn I’ve ever seen has been red, and I never knew why. I mean, I love red as a color, but it never really made any sense why every single barn I’ve ever come across had to be red. There are so many other colors to choose from!

The real reason barns are painted red actually has nothing to do with color preference, and everything to do with practicality.

When the very first New England settlers were building farms, many of them lacked the necessary funds to paint their buildings. However, they still needed a way to protect their barns’ wood from the elements, so they came up with their own solution to the problem: by mixing skim milk, lime, and red iron oxide, they successfully created a plastic-like substance that they could coat their farm buildings with to protect them.

Eventually, paint manufacturers would mix in chemical pigment and red was the favorite due to how cheap it was. And, as with many things in this world, people never sought to change it. So, red was how it began and red is how it has stayed.

h/t Business Insider

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Professor Who Predicted Donald Trump Becoming President Has a New Prediction: Impeachment

Image via: Max Goldberg from USA - Trump CAUCUS

Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, has gained quite a bit of notoriety over the years as he’s successfully predicted the outcome of every presidential election to date, starting in 1984. He correctly predicted the Donald Trump would win the 2016 election and is now making another prediction: Donald Trump will be impeached.

"Now, he focuses on the 45th President of the United States and his next forecast, that it is not a question of if President Trump will be impeached, but a question of when," said Shelby Meizlik, spokesperson for HarperCollins.

In fact, Lichtman has written a book stating his argument for why Trump should be impeached. The Case for Impeachment is being published by Dey Street Books and will release to the public on April 18th.

Lichtman made the prediction that Trump would be impeached alongside his prediction that he would be elected and his book will go into detail as to why.

Lichtman told the Washington Post this past September:

"I'm going to make another prediction. This one is not based on a system; it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook."

It certainly seems as though there is a strong case for impeachment, especially when considering Trump's Russian connections and the multitude of conflicts of interests surrounding his businesses, as Lichtman argues.

Do you think Lichtman’s fortune-telling capabilities will ring true once again?

h/t Time

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Mix it up a little with these six houseplants that are beautiful, but also a little strange.

Euphorbia Caput-Medusae
Succulents a great option for everyone who’s looking for a low-maintenance plant. They only need watering about once a week and even just once a month during the winter months. The type of succulent shown here is referred to as “Medusa’s Head,” a moniker taken on because of its likeness to the Greek monster with snakes for hair. It is native to South Africa.

Trachyandra
The Trachyandra also looks as if it’s some type of snake plant, or maybe silly-string growing out of the ground. This plant is real and you can find it in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Platycerium
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Gentiana Urnula
These beautifully-patterned succulents are known as “Starfish Succulents” and are at home in the rocks. These are also a perfect option for those seeking low-maintenance plants.

Sedum Morganianum
These crazy looking plant is often called “Donkey Tail” and its stems regularly grow up to two feet in length. Its leaves are normally a bluish-green and it is native to Mexico and Honduras.

Haworthia Cooperi
This plant looks like some type of glass flower or maybe even some type of gelatin, but these clumps you see here are actually green leaves that simply look as though they’re something else.

h/t Woman's Day

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