The positive effect of magnetism on plant, animal and human life has been studied since the discovery of magnetism in the 16th century. It wasn't until the 19th century, however, that Louis Pasteur observed the positive effect of the earth's magnetic field on plant growth. Today, seed distributors magnetically treat seeds to encourage optimal plant growth.
The Dynamo Effect
It is believed that earth's magnetic field is a result of its rotations. Venus, a planet with a similar iron core, rotates only 234 Earth-day rotations and has no measurable magnetic field. A dynamo, or electric generator, which can sustain a magnetic field, is created by the rotation of the earth and the electrical forces within the core. This rotation evokes the image of an electric generator and is therefore called the dynamo effect. This geomagnetism impacts everything on earth, including plant life.
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Coconuts and Magnetism
The effect of geomagnetism on plants can be best observed in the coconut tree. A 1987 Math Model study that observed more than 70,000 coconut trees throughout the world yielded results that suggest magnetism's effect on the tree. The foliar spiral direction varies with latitude, it found. An analysis of the data from this study indicates that latitudinal asymmetries in foliar spiral direction may be associated with the varying component of the earth's magnetic field.
Magnetic Treatment of Seeds
Select seed distributors magnetically treat seeds prior to sale. This magnetic treatment increases seed germination rates. Using magnets on seeds speeds up protein formation, which encourages root growth in all seeds, including those that are weak. Magnetic treatment also increases the quality of vegetables, fruits and cereals and can yield an increase of approximately 20 percent in a harvest.
Magnetizing water increases its solubility and filtering properties. The properties of magnetized water permit more nutrients to dissolve. Magnetized water allows for a deeper and larger root zone and dissolves more nutrients to stimulate plant growth. Fertilizers dissolve more easily in magnetized water and better penetrate plants.
Seeds in Space
The gravitational pull of the earth is thought to be the reason that seeds "know" which direction to grow. Seeds grow up in the absence of light as they make their way through dark soil to the ground's surface. A novel experiment by NASA plans to grow seeds in orbit with a high-gradient magnetic field in the growth chamber. Scientists believe that the starch grains will feel the magnetic force and will sink to the bottom of the cell as if pulled by gravity.