In the early morning of Feb 2nd, 1966, a fleeting thought prompted Cleve Backster, to hook up the Dracaena plant in his office to a lie-detector machine. What he discovered that day went far beyond what anyone could imagine in their wildest dreams.

The plant and the lie detector: An accidental experiment 

Backster was, at the time, a veteran CIA polygraph expert. When a lie detector or polygraph machine is connected to a human body it exposes the mood of the person concerned. To his utmost amazement, the same can be found when the subject is a plant. For example, when a plant is watered, it manifests what appears to be ‘joy’.

Plants have ESP 

This amazing discovery triggered Backster’s curiosity in finding other unexpected reactions occurring in the plant. So, Backster decided to dip the leaves of the same plant into hot coffee, but unfortunately, this produced no subsequent reaction.

He then decided to attempt to induce more sentiment in the plant, so he intended to set one of its leaves on fire but before he could even light the match, the polygraph registered an intense reaction on the part of the Dracaena. When he returned with a matchbox, he saw another reaction appear. The plant seemingly felt that he was about to burn it, therefore it exhibited signs of fear. To Backster, it was indisputable proof that the plant not only demonstrated fear but also could somehow read his mind or comprehend his intentions. 

If he showed hesitation or reluctance to burn the plant, the reaction recorded by the lie detector was unclear. And when he pretended to burn the leaf, the plant hardly responded. The plant could even distinguish true intention from pretense. It was all that Backster could do to keep from rushing out into the street to shout, “Plants have feelings! Plants have feelings too!” 

This astonishing discovery led him to further experiments.

When plants act as lie detectors


(Etheric ships/ Facebook)

In human subjects, a polygraph measures three things: pulse, respiration rate, and galvanic skin response, otherwise known as perspiration. If you are worried about being caught in a lie, your levels will spike or dip. 

Backster devised an experiment in which he connected a lie detector to a plant and then asked a person a few questions. As a result, Backster discovered that the plant could tell if the person was lying or not. He asked the person about his year of birth, he gave him seven choices and instructed him to answer “no” to all of them, including the one correct answer. When the person answered “no” to the correct year of birth, the plant reacted and a pointed pyramid was drawn on the paper.

Dr. Aristide Esser, head of medical research at Rockland State Hospital in New York, replicated the experiment. A man was arranged to answer several questions in front of a plant that he had been taking care of since it was just sprouting. The plant did not cover its owner’s lies at all. Incorrect answers were reflected clearly on the graph drawn on paper. Esser, who did not believe Backster, witnessed with his own eyes that Backster’s theory is correct.

Plants can recognize people and to an extent tell when they are lying.

Plant ‘s recognition ability

To check the plant’s recognition ability, Backster conducted another experiment in which he called in six students, blindfolded them, and asked them to draw a piece of paper from a hat. Each piece of paper had an instruction written on it, one of which had instructions to uproot one of the two plants in the room and destroy it by stomping on it. The ‘perpetrator’ had to do it alone, and no one would know his identity, including Backster. By doing so, the other plant could not sense who was the ‘killer’ from other people’s minds. The experiment was set up in a way that the plant would be the sole witness.

When the other plant was connected to a lie detector, each student was required to pass by it. The plant had no reaction to the first five students. When the student who committed the “crime” was approaching, the electronic pen began to draw frantically. This reaction indicated that the plant had the ability to remember and identify people or objects that have harmed them.

Remote sensitivity

(Yvonne Navalaney/ Shutterstock)

Plants have a close bond with their owners. For example, when Backster returned to New York from New Jersey, he found from the records on the graph paper that all his plants had responded. He wondered if the plants would indicate that they felt “relieved” or “welcoming” when he returned. He noticed that the time when the plants reacted was the moment he decided to return home from New York.

Although the scientific community was less than convinced by his work, the faith that Backster had in his findings never wavered. He went on devising and conducting experiments until the end of his life, expanding his theory of nonhuman consciousness and finding more proof of what he called the fundamental interconnection between all living things. He was once quoted to have said, “I have a truly wonderful ally: Mother Nature.”

A short documentary about Backster’s experiment: