Avatar's Crazy Glowing Plants Now Exist In Real Life, Because Science

Zoe Saldana in Avatar

Hey, have you ever watched Avatar during the scene where Sam Worthington’s character Jake Sully is traipsing through Pandora’s beautiful glowing jungle and thought, “Wow, I really want plants that can glow.” If so, you’re in luck. They exist now, because science.

A recent report by The Science Times claimed scientists have cracked the DNA code and designed tobacco plants with an “avatar-like” glow during their entire lifespan. They did this by transferring genes from mushrooms that glow and wired them into the plants metabolisms. This study was first published in Nature Biotechnology journal.

Many animals and organisms have the ability to glow. Called bioluminescence, this phenomena is seen naturally in plankton, mushrooms, fungi, fish, and more. Now scientists can put this glowing ability into other plants that never had it, taking us one step closer to a Pandora-like world that isn’t set in Disney World, maybe.

Avatar is the box-office shattering science-fiction hit from visionary James Cameron. It focuses a paralyzed soldier named Jake Sully that visits Pandora, an alien world humans are harvesting for resources, and eventually becomes the hero and savior of the Na’vi people. Avatar popularized motion capture technology and reignite the 3D movie theater trend. It became an overall cultural phenomena at the time.

James Cameron has been hard at work on the many Avatar sequels. They’ve been in production for a while with many setbacks along the way. Avatar 2 was originally set to be released in 2015, but they didn’t even start shooting until 2017. Now, it’s been announced that Avatar 2 is scheduled to be released on December 17, 2021, over a decade after the first movie was released in 2009.

During the lengthy production, we’ve learned a few things about the Avatar sequels along the way. One surprise piece of information being that Stephen Lang’s Colonel Miles Quaritch will be returning. He’s not the only surprise returning character as Sigourney Weaver’s Dr. Grace Augustine will also be returning. A recent photo of her on set confirmed this.

Earlier this year, we got a closer look at what could be in store for us in the Avatar sequels. Their official Twitter account released original concept art, showing different locations of Pandora, some of which look like tropical vacation destinations.

If you’re hankering to see Avatar again, Disney made it available on their streaming platform. Curiously, they also made a slight change to the logo’s font that originally looked oddly similar to the Papyrus font.

But, look, I’m glad science keeps making progress, pushing boundaries and discovering new things. And, I have to admit that having a bioluminescent plant in my house would be pretty cool. I just don’t want science to create the monster from Little Shop of Horrors.

Jason Ingolfsland