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Colony Universe

Thompson Trees

by EAB

Investigation Notes From the Log Files of William Bartlett

The mechanism behind the “Thompson Tree” electrical generation was at first puzzling. How could something rooted in the ground store any kind of a charge at all? And on Earth there was no known vegetation that did anything even remotely similar. But then I asked myself, “Ok, How does an electric eel do it?” After all they swim around in salt water, a pretty good conductor, but still manage to hold a charge. And it turned out the two methods were identical in practice if not detail. I rely on a review of the Wikipedia files stored in our database for much of the following and credit the “Lab Rats“ for the microscopic examination.

The process is called Electrogenesis and Electroreception. Rays and eels and a few other electric fish on Earth have a set of cells called Electrocytes or Electroplaxes They are very thin and stacked like plates in a battery. Each producing about 0.15 Volts. Eels have thousands of such cells. They work by pumping positive sodium and potassium ions out of the cell via transport proteins powered by adenosine triphosphate. Postsynaptically, electrocytes work much like muscle cells The Electrocytes of the fruit we examined taken from the plant which killed Robert Bova Thompson seemed to be able to hold a maximum charge of 0.27 volts though the typical stacked charge was less.

To date we have discovered four distinct types of electrically active vegetation. One low shrub like variety stores it’s charge in a succulent leaf. Examination of the smaller electric plants show smaller voltages (about 100 volts) and currents less than an amp, enough for a nasty surprise to something the size of a person but not likely to cause permanent injury.

A detailed microscopic analysis of the Thompson Apples “Core” showed 4,000 to 5,000 stacked electroplaques capable of 800 volts and 3 amperes of current (2400 watts). Even this might not have been fatal but several of the nearby fruits seemed also to have discharged sequentially which prolonged the current exposure.

The plants have a rudimentary nervous system, Fine hair like growths that detect contact and trigger the charge. It is similar to the triggering system used for leaf closure by the Venus Fly Trap.

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