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83 Year Old Man Hasn’t Watered This Sealed Bottle Garden Since 1972 And It’s Still Alive

229 views 31 March 2021

In an amazing example of a closed but functional ecosystem, David Latimer has grown a garden sealed inside of a giant glass bottle that he has only opened once since he started it almost 57 years ago.

Latimer planted the garden on Easter Sunday in 1960. He placed some compost and a quarter pint of water into a 10-gallon glass carboy and inserted a spiderwort sprout using wires. In 1972, he opened the garden again to add a bit of water. With that one exception, the garden has remained totally sealed – all it needs is plenty of sunlight!

It might seem strange to some that a totally sealed garden would thrive like this, but it’s not – the garden is a perfectly self-sufficient ecosystem. The bacteria in the compost break down the dead plants and break down the oxygen given off by the plants, turning it into the carbon dioxide that the plants need to survive. The bottle is an excellent micro version of the earth as a whole.
Almost 60 years ago, David Latimer had opened a bottle. And he had planted a seed that would soon amaze the entire world. The plant grew successfully and fully covered up the bottle. The ecosystem is close and totally functional.