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Penghrrap - danger-teller
Lucinaria fibriata - fringed-lamp
|Behind the scenes|
The binary sunshine (Na'vi name: penghrrap meaning "danger-teller") is one of the many plants on Pandora with a simple animal-like nervous system that continues to baffle scientists studying the plant because of its blend of plant and animal characteristics, which makes it a zooplantae.
This herbaceous plant is unusual due to its advanced mechanism of bioluminescence. The leaves of the plant are modified into enclosed bulbous structures that resemble Earth-made lamps when they glow. These are able to detect the presence of danger by sensing the emission of volatile stress hormones from living organisms. For the Na'vi, the colors emitted by the glowing leaves signal whether the landscape is calm or danger is near. The binary sunshine reproduces when a leaf falls or is removed from the plant body onto the ground. The leaf then produces adventitious roots from its base and begins growing as an independent ‘planimal’.
The Na'vi collect these leaves and plant them at strategic points to be used as sentinels to signal approaching threats.
There is a potentially huge market on Earth for these plants which can be used for lighting which that does not contribute to global warming or pollution. Furthermore, this plant has the potential to become a ‘bio-lie detector’ by measuring the emission of stress hormones of any test subject.
The potential effects of the plant being introduced into Earth’s ecosystem, either to an advantage or disadvantage is not yet known.