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<   No. 2249   2009-03-24   >

Comic #2249

1 Iki Piki: A water cooler? How are you going to create a hard vacuum in that? You'd need to suck every last molecule of water out.
2 Quercus: A tree can suck thousands of litres of water an hour. Against huge gravitational gradients. With no moving parts. In complete silence.
3 Quercus: You're looking at the most advanced, efficient, and powerful form of suction in the universe!
3 [sound]: silence...
4 [sound]: FWACKOOOM!

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Trees are indeed amazing.

Next time you're standing next to a large tree, think about the fact that the brown wrinkly cylinder next to you is pumping vast amounts of water from the ground, up to the tips of every single branch and twig and leaf, right to the very top of its height. And is doing so in utter silence, with no moving parts, non-stop, every day of the year, for what might be several hundred years, while standing exposed to everything the elements can throw at it, without breaking down or requiring maintenance of any sort.

Things we take for granted because they are so common can be amazing when you stop to think about them.


2022-01-29 Rerun commentary: It's astounding that trees can survive in virtually any weather, without needing to put on a jacket, or a hat and sunscreen.

Living in a place that never sees snow, it absolutely boggles me that plants can survive temperatures low enough to freeze water.

I'm also amazed when I see photos of dogs playing in snow. With nothing on, just their bare fur! My wife and I put knitted woolly sweaters on our dog when the temperature drops to about 16°C, and we worry that she's going to be too cold. I guess maybe she won't be, but it sure feels like she will. It's not just us, either - everyone at the dog park in winter has their dogs rugged up too.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
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