Are we on to something?

Whenever I see a paper weight-glass ball, with things inside made of probably ceramic or plastic-like substance, I always wonder how some of them looked real.

As I was flipping through the posts in my social media app, one of my friends linked youtube page.


It featured a senior man named David Latimer and his giant glass bottle. Inside the bottle, there was a thriving ecosystem, which he had started cultivating about 56 years ago (from Easter Sunday of 1960). Latimer had placed some fertile soil or compost, a spiderwort seedling, and water in a 10-gallon glass container. It had only been watered once and then sealed until present.

It is amazing how he was able to recreate his self-sufficient ecosystem. He placed the bottle under an area with much sun, which promoted photosynthesis. Cellular respiration also happened wherein the bacteria into the soil absorbed the byproducts of the plant and released carbon dioxide which the plant needed. The water was absorbed by the roots and released into the air through the process of transpiration. Finally, since it was an enclosed ecosystem, condensation of the water particles in the air converted back into the liquid state through the process of condensation. Thus the whole cycle began again.

If we look and learn from this amazing work or “invention”, if I may say, we could learn a lot for the preservation of several plant species. This is similar to a small greenhouse, though we could probably be more diverse in what we can place inside the bottle. We could change the soil type, the amount of sun exposure, and the water content inside the ecosystem. Since in applied ecology, we think about ways to answer to the problems of nature, this may be hope for plants, which are near extinction.


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