Plants are living beings and similar to our requirements, they need certain factors to survive too. Factors essential for plant survival would be water, soil, sunlight, temperature, atmosphere and Mineral Nutrients. However, this incident will make us bit curious, but still, it has happened. This small ecosystem has not been watered for over forty years and has been sitting in a sealed bottle, but it continues to grow and thrive even to do this.

What is this?

According to biologic performance, In 1960 David Latimer got curious and decided to plant a glass bottle with seed. He would have never guessed it would turn into a beautiful case study of a self-sustaining sealed ecosystem. In fact, more than a century has passed and David’s sealed bottle garden is still thriving and robust as can be. With thriving plant life, despite not watering it since 1972.

Tiny Ecosystem In A Sealed Bottle

How did this happen?

It was Latimer’s curious mind that let him do such experiments. Initially, he planted a seed in a bottle. After that, he added some compost into the globular bottle that he decided to use, Latimer used a wire to wisely lower in a spiderworts seeding and then added a pint of water to the mix. The bottle was wrapped and he placed it in a sunny corner, and the magical photosynthesis took over the process further.

trees in a bottle

It was a single watering in 1972, since then it has remained sealed without fresh water or carbon dioxide. As we all know, these are two of the main ingredients needed for effective plant growth.

This is possible because the garden makes its own ecosystem through the magic of the sun (photosynthesis) that is self-sufficient.

“It’s 6ft from a window so gets a bit of sunlight. It grows towards the light so it gets turned round every so often so it grows evenly. Otherwise, it’s the definition of low-maintenance. I’ve never pruned it, it just seems to have grown to the limits of the bottle.” David said to Daily mail.

According to, Due to photosynthesis, plants obtain the energy needed to grow by absorbing sunlight. While the process, oxygen, and water vapor are also made in the process. The moisture then builds up inside the bottle itself because it has nowhere to go in a sealed bottle, it “rains” back down on the plant. That sorts out the water element that the plant needs to survive. For the carbon dioxide, when leaves fall into the soil, they are broken down and all the carbon dioxide and nutrients stored in them is absorbed back into the soils which in turn is then absorbed by the plant through its roots, giving it the carbon dioxide it needs.

echo system in a bottle

It’s amazing that, with a little bit of sunlight, the plants can flourish even in this sole environment, positively creating a micro version of the Earth in a bottle. Latimer is now 80 years old. He hopes to share this ongoing experiment and to pass this to his grownup children when he is gone.

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