We often say thing such as “that person sucked the energy out of me” and the term introverts and extroverts are also related to how one gains energy either within one’s self or through human interaction. On a more traditional medicine point of view, we hear about qi (or chi) in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and about chakras from India. Thus, a related question is this: can living beings such as humans absorb energy from each other?
A bit of a viral controversy resulted from that question late last year when an article on this site became popular. The article in question talks about a study that was held at Bielefeld University and published back on 20th November 2012, with some impressive results.
The study had the purpose of researching whether or not a species of algae, the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, was able to absorb energy and nutrients from each other. The result was astounding to the scientists behind the project, who were able to deduce that, aside from photosynthesis, the algae were able to draw energy from other plants around them, allowing them to grow even in sub-optimal growing conditions.
Professor Kruse, the man in charge of the study, explained that this type of behaviour had never been seen in a vegetable organism before and that the results even contradicted what is in textbooks. He also went on to say that the resulting cellulose could be used to form carbon for things such as biofuel – something that can only be done through growing certain fungi at the moment.
However, does this mean that humans could be able to draw energy from each other as well?
Unfortunately for those who are hoping that’s the case, this is not really the case. The study only looked into how these algae can absorb energy from other plants and the process that goes into it, as well as the possible implications for this. There’s no mention of humans or other living organisms being able to do the same thing. But if so, then why did people start thinking that way?
Well, on 22nd November 2012, an article regarding the study was released. However, instead of objectively commenting on the results, the article mentioned a Olivia Bader-Lee (who supposedly is part of the team who conducted the study) who said that it might be possible for humans also to absorb the energy of others. However, there is no mention of any such person in the actual study, so it is believed that this Olivia Bader-Lee was entirely made up by the author.
The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii can create food for themselves by feeding off from others, meaning that it’s a form of cannibalism. Not sure about you, but we wouldn’t want that to happen with humans.
Good to know for sure that in the physical realm at least, one can’t be an energy vampire and feed off others’ energies to sustain life. That’s not to say the same in the spiritual sense…which we will leave to the other experts to tackle.
Photo Credits: Your Green Review, Protist Information Server, e-Buddism