What Happens to Cigarettes in Soil for a Year is Displayed in a Hypnotic Timelapse

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Nature often operates in mysterious ways that elude our understanding, particularly with processes that span lengthy periods. This is poignantly showcased by Photo Owl, a creator dedicated to unveiling the wonders of decomposition through timelapse videos. One of their standout projects features three cigarettes buried in a jar of soil for a year, revealing nature’s slow yet relentless process.

Photo: Screenshot from YouTube

Almost instantly, the soil’s humidity moistens the cigarettes’ paper. Within a mere 24 hours, signs of decay are evident. The timelapse brilliantly captures microorganisms breaking down the tobacco, offering viewers a front-row seat to the beauty of decomposition.

Days progress, and a layer of vibrant green moss soon blankets the jar interior. By day 200, the cigarettes are reduced to scant traces of paper and their filters. Reinforcing the marvels of nature, a small plant unexpectedly sprouts atop the jar.

The climax is reached a year into the experiment. On unearthing the jar’s contents, only the three cigarette filters remain — the rest having succumbed to the soil’s transformative powers.

This isn’t Photo Owl’s sole venture into the world of decomposition. They’ve immersed an apple in water for a year and observed a watermelon slice’s fate in soil over a month. Each experiment underscores the profound, though often overlooked, micro-level events perpetually unfolding around us. The timelapses remind us that nature’s prowess, regardless of scale, is remarkable.

Photo Owl’s timelapse captures soil breaking down a cigarette over a year.

Other experiments by them include submerging an apple in water for 365 days and observing a watermelon slice in soil for over 30 days.


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