Goretober: does science justify your favorite horror scenes?

Lucille DiNaro – Business Manager

As a continuation from our last issue, The Anchor’s second installment of this column will continue to search for the truth behind filmmakers most grotesque horror scenes. To what extent does the silver screen translate to our everyday lives?

“The Last House on the Left” Dennis Iliadis, 2009

This 2009 remake of Wes Craven’s film of the same name is the story of a family vacation gone terribly wrong. John Collingwood and his family are tormented by a teenage boy and his sadistic companions, Krug, Francis and Sadie. As the movie meets its climax, John paralyzes Krug from the neck down and places his head in a running microwave oven. Krug is barely able to realize what has happened before the electromagnetic waves cause his head to explode, resulting in his death.

In a microwave oven, an alternating current forces atoms reverse polarity at an extremely high rate, creating violent friction which causes the water in your food to vibrate and heat up. This process is what causes food to cook and produce steam. Iliadis cleverly uses this concept to help the viewer draw visual parallels between Krug’s head exploding to the more common pressurized-steam explosion of a microwaved potato.

Fortunately for Krug, this entire scenario can be debunked by the simple fact that most modern microwaves can not operate without a door. Even if they could, the skin effect––the tendency of a high-frequency alternating current to flow through only the outer layer of a conductor––would effectively protect Krug during the limited time he spends under the microwave.

Human skin can withstand microwave frequencies to some extent, but Krug’s skin would suffer severe burns. The blood vessels in his retinas would likely fry, rendering him blind and his ears would not be able to withstand the microwave’s electromagnetic pulse energy.

While a microwave may not seem like a particularly terrifying deathbringer in this scenario, that doesn’t mean we can eliminate microwaves as a weapon altogether. The United States Department of Defense has studied the lethality mechanisms of radio frequency and high power microwave technologies since the 1980’s. Interestingly enough, research has shown that the United States could be headed towards an entirely new class of directed energy weapon systems. Maybe directors can consider these if there ever is another remake.

“Hereditary” Ari Aster, 2018

One of the more shocking scenes to appear on screen this year was the death of Charlie. After months of movie promotion which framed Charlie as the centerpiece of the film, viewers were astonished when she was decapitated a mere 30 minutes into the movie. Suffering from anaphylaxis, Charlie stuck her head outside the car window in the hope of catching her breath. Her brother, already in a panic, swerves to avoid a deer, driving Charlie right into a telephone pole.

What is so unnerving about this scene in particular is how closely it mirrors real life. We each live so certain of what is next to come, ignoring the fact that chaos and tragedy are but one bad decision away. Charlie’s death in this movie is a finality both on and off screen. Decapitation and internal decapitation almost always amount to a loss of life.

Forensic pathologists approach decapitations differently if they occur post-mortem or antemortem. Postmortem decapitation is often the result of a hanging and rarely occurs in the modern day. Antemortem decapitation is often accidental, or the result of suicide or homicide.

An autopsy of a man whose death was quite similar to Charlie’s found that the larynx, pharynx and parts of the lungs and heart were removed with the head upon decapitation. As Charlie’s body came in contact with the indirect force of the telephone pole, we could expect a similar result. Maybe think twice before sticking your head out the car window, and always wear a seatbelt.

Sleep does matter

Samantha Malley – Art Director

Chances are, you’re a typical college student balancing numerous activities including (but not limited to) homework for all your classes, spending 20 plus hours a week at your job and possibly being involved in sports or clubs. Not to mention eating three times a day and maintaining a social life––you’re a busy person. Finding the time to get enough sleep is understandably difficult when juggling the everyday tasks of being a college student, however, it is crucial for your health.

The average college student needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night to wake up the next morning ready for their day. Only 11 percent of students across America say they get the right amount of sleep every night. This bad habit is called sleep deprivation, and it may be the reason you are not feeling yourself during the semester.

Sleep deprivation has both long and short term consequences. First of all, cognitive factors will be extremely altered. Your ability to focus, think and process information as well as recall old information will be damaged. You don’t want to lose your ability to recall information when you have an exam worth 30 percent of your grade coming up. Your immune system also eventually becomes dysfunctional. Just to mention a few things, your chance of becoming sick is much easier, and you also have an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer. Your mental health will begin to deteriorate because your circadian rhythm, or natural time clock, is all messed up when you don’t get a routine amount of sleep every night.

Your physical stress response increases as well as your anxiety and depression levels. With all that’s on your plate, you don’t want any more trouble or stressors such as gaining weight. Lack of sleep causes unhealthy cravings to fulfill your energy needs, leading to a poor diet and potential health problems as a result.

In order to avoid all these life inconveniences, here are some helpful tips to help you sleep: Stop using technology at least 30 minutes before you want to go to bed. The blue light from electronics blocks melatonin, a hormone that can help you fall asleep. Instead of scrolling on your phone or watching TV, try reading a book, listening to music or coloring.

Eating regularly and scheduled meals can help as well. If you have a day off, try meal prepping. Being physically active most days will benefit you immensely by reducing stress, which promotes healthier sleep, and tiring out your body.

Spending a good amount of time outside during the day will also trigger your body to correct sleep cycles. Try walking to class or eating lunch outside.

Lastly, practice your time management skills. Do not rely on the weekend to catch up on your homework. Stay on top of your assignments to reduce stress and mentally plan your days ahead, which will help keep up your grades.

These tasks may seem small but they are extremely helpful to your sleeping habits and essentially important to your health. This would be a good time to stop whatever you’re doing, clear your schedule, and catch up on that healthy sleep!

Clusterfackt

Mike Dwyer – Anchor Staff

The oldest organic color is a bright pink discovered in West Africa. Evidence in Jordan suggests   that bread came before agriculture while scientists in Britain claim to have proven that the chicken came before the egg.

The average height of an adult American male is 5-foot-10 while the average hand size of an adult American male, measured from the tip of the middle finger to the wrist, is roughly 7.44 inches.   

Standing at 6-foot-2 with a hand size of 7.25 inches, President Donald Trump’s hands are objectively, and scientifically, smaller than average. Partisans tend to believe that their preferred candidate is taller whereas vocal disorders make politicians more persuasive.

A non-profit organization called OpenBiome specializes in purchasing, processing and packaging poop into oral tablets which they ship all across the country, providing a life-changing treatment for people suffering from the effects of C. difficile.

The company will pay up to $13,000 a year for donations, many of which come from students at nearby Tufts University where the average in-state tuition is approximately $52,000 a year.

“I never thought that after getting my PhD I’d start mailing poop around,” said OpenBiome’s co-founder Mark Smith in an interview with The Washington Post.

Of the student donors, Smith thought it was “great to have a healthy contingent of regular gym goers” in such close proximity to his Medford, MA office that can meet his high fecal standards.  

Pornography has negative impacts on the sexual satisfaction of men, but less so when those men have a low opinion of the Bible.

The negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity is weaker in the Bible Belt. A study in New Zealand has shown that humans exhibit racism towards robots of color.

Engineers have created a robotic baby that kicks up particulate matter in carpets.

A researcher has proposed that Rene Descartes experienced Exploding Head Syndrome.

Forensic otologists have theorized that Sir Isaac Newton suffered an inner ear imbalance, a lifelong condition which led to his discovery and study of gravity in 1492.

Voting districts trend Republican when there are more pickup trucks than sedans.

At least one percent of voters swing right on rainy election days.

Gene therapy has stopped mutant female mice from mutilating the genitalia of their male counterparts.

When served food atop fake feces, Chimpanzees will hesitate before eating.

Checking the facts with Dwight Myers:

Unfortunately, once again no one was able to correctly identify the false facts from our previous issues. It’s time to reveal the falsehoods of the last fortnight. In our third issue of Clusterfackt the author claimed that a group of computer scientists in Singapore successfully downloaded the consciousness of a monkey to an artificial neural network but failed to communicate with the AI because the digitized primate would not cease screaming. This claim was simply the thought vomit of a complete nincompoop. In our last issue, the author of Clusterfackt tried to make the falsehood more apparent but it still failed elicit criticism. So to be clear- a ton of bowling balls will fall at the same velocity as a ton of feathers whether on earth or the surface of the moon because the reduction in gravity will affect both equally. Astrologers made no claim to the contrary because astrology has absolutely nothing to do with scientific inquiry or facts. Astrology is pure superstitious pseudoscience.

 

Goretober: does science justify your favorite horror scenes?

Lucille DiNaro – Business Manager

Moviegoers find solace in the fact that horror movies are exaggerated depictions of real life. Even the most gruesome, horrific scenes aren’t too scary because viewers know that it’s just Hollywood. In the pursuit of good, old-fashioned Halloween fun, I’d like to prove that the opposite is true. Filmmakers most grotesque horror scenes—your worst nightmares—are absolutely plausible. Under the right circumstances, of course.

“Oldboy” Chan-wook Park, 2003

This neo-noir action film is not shy when it comes to blood and gore, but the final few scenes elicited a visceral reaction many viewers were not ready for. As an act of both repentance and loyalty to his captor of fifteen years, protagonist Oh Dae-su maniacally cuts off his own tongue with nothing more than a pair of scissors and a purple handkerchief.

The ceremonial tongue cutting of Dae-su has deep seated roots in history. Elinguation, the cutting out of the tongue as punishment, was a common torture method carried out as early as 1700 CE, most often against individuals accused of slander.

The primary concern this scene poses on Dae-su’s life is the possible severance of the lingual artery, which originates from the external carotid artery, a major artery of the head and neck. Improper coagulation of blood in the case of a lingual artery hemorrhage can result in a fatal obstruction of the upper airway. Historically, elinguation overwhelmingly resulted in death.  

The observable evidence in the movie is hard to depict, and there is conflicting literature as to whether Oh Dae-su would make it out alive. While proper pressurization of the wound and a bit of luck would keep Dae-su alive, it is extremely improbable.

“Saw II” Darren Lynn Bousman, 2005

The infamous Jigsaw has presented moviegoers with over a decade of gore, but one trap in this particular film has stuck out as one of the more disturbing scenes in the franchise. Amanda Young, one of Jigsaw’s victims, is thrown into a pit of hundreds of used hypodermic syringes and is given two minutes to sift through the pile for a single key.

During this process, Amanda subjects herself to dozens of needlestick injuries, leaving her at risk for HIV, hepatitis C and severe infection. These bloodborne diseases are indeed deadly but pose no immediate threat in this scenario. Needlestick injuries are common in the medical field and are routinely treated without serious consequences. In the film, it is assumed that these needles contain trace amounts of heroin. However, mere punctures would not allow for the drug to significantly affect her.

Much to the disdain of trypanophobes, Amanda successfully finds the key located deep within the needlestack and manages to survive through four more Saw films. Although this scene is visually damaging, it is highly unlikely that Amanda would suffer from anything more than psychological shock.

“Gerald’s Game” Mike Flanagan, 2017

This Netflix release left viewers reeling with disgust as Jessie Burlingame escaped a pair of handcuffs by degloving herself with nothing more than a shard of glass. Despite the gruesome nature of this scene, not only does science support Jessie’s escape, but also suggests that she could have a full recovery.

The injury Jessie inflicted upon herself is commonly seen in road traffic incidents, conveyor belt  and ring avulsion injuries. Oftentimes all vital structures in the hand–digital nerves, digital vessels, flexor tendons and lumbrical muscles–are unaffected. Viability of the hand after this injury depends primarily on the ability to preserve as much skin structure as possible and to provide an adequate skin cover.

Many people who experience this injury leave with the musculoskeletal unit of the hand completely intact, which is why Jessie was able to move her naked hand normally and escape captivity. Vascularization of the skin through arterial or venous anastomosis could allow Jessie to live as though the incident never even occurred. Unfortunately for viewers, this scene is as close to reality as it gets.

A disease of the mind

Samantha Scetta – Editor-in-Chief

The brain is perhaps one of the most intricate and mysterious of the bodily organs. We use it every millisecond of our lives– When we are sleeping, when we are zoning out and even when we are unconscious, the brain is still at work.

However, the almighty brain is still a mystery to even the sharpest and most intelligent neurologists that work in the field of brain science.

When something goes terribly wrong within our brains, the healing process does not have a definitive ending and beginning as it would with ailments like the stomach flu or a broken arm. Unfortunately, when it comes to a neurological disease like Alzheimer’s, there may not be a way to reverse the changes it makes to the brain at all.

Forgetfulness is a natural part of the aging process, and part of being a human in general. Tumors/blood clots in the brain, depression, lack of sleep, certain medications, head injuries and alcohol use can impact one’s memory, but are not related to Alzheimer’s Disease. Dementia is also not the same as Alzheimer’s– Dementia is an umbrella term for a severe decline in mental ability, Alzheimer’s is a specific disease of the brain.

There are notable differences between being forgetful and having Alzheimer’s– For example, if you misplace your keys occasionally you are most likely just being forgetful, but if you constantly forget where the supermarket is… that could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

In the brain of an individual with Alzheimer’s, protein fragments (amyloid plaque) builds up in between the nerve cells of the brain, and forms insoluble plaques. The accumulation of beta amyloid is detrimental to the communication between cells in the brain and is considered a trademark of Alzheimer’s.  

As the disease progresses, the “gray matter” of the brain that covers the cerebrum withers up and shrinks more rapidly than what is considered normal. This damage wreaks havoc on the brain’s functions, and the affected individuals lose the ability to plan, learn new information, recall information and concentrate. Damage to the cerebrum can also affect physical movement which is why individuals in the later stage of Alzheimer’s will have difficulty sitting up or walking on their own.

The hippocampus, the area of the brain that deals with memory, also shrivels and shrinks which disables the brain’s ability to create new memories. This is why an individual with Alzheimer’s might not remember who his or her newborn grandchildren are.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s– there are only treatments to delay the progress of brain degradation.  

Whereas Alzheimer’s is thought to be mostly genetic and unavoidable; research has shown that there are a variety of lifestyle changes one can make to prevent their chances of being diagnosed:

    • Exercise- Regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. Exercise is not just great for your physical health, it can help stimulate connections in your brain and increase oxygen that is sent to the brain.

 

  • Healthy, balanced diet- Sometimes referred to as “the diabetes of the mind”, there really is no surprise that cutting down on sugar, processed meats, cheese and white carbohydrates can decrease one’s chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Sugar causes a spike in insulin and can cause inflammation in the brain which can lead to Alzheimer’s or other memory loss disease over time.

 

  • Never stop learning- If you don’t use it, you lose it. This applies to muscles as well as the brain. You should constantly challenge your brain to strengthen memory and ability to focus, and perhaps this will improve brain function and slow down dementia.

Just the facts

Mike Dwyer – Anchor Staff

“Just the facts” is a column written by our longtime news writer Mike Dwyer. The facts listed below are meant to inspire readers’ interests in bizarre scientific facts and possibly inspire a google search. One of the facts below is false– if you can find the singular false fact, email editorinchief@anchorweb.org and you will win a free ¼ page advertisement.

Ingurgitate is to guzzle as sternutate is to sneeze.

Borborygmus is an ancient Greek onomatopoeia for the tummy wumbles.

A common psychological phenomenon known as pareidolia is the likely culprit behind cloud animals, the man in the moon and Jesus on toast. Both mice and men fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy and grimace when they are in pain.

Chimpanzees living in Côte d’Ivoire’s Taï National Park have distinct cultural differences in nut-cracking. French dolphins sleep talk in whale.

Blue tits have learned to steal milk, while wigeons, ducks and skuas are known to engage in piracy. Pigeons are prone to problem gambling but the cause of avian divorce, particularly high among urban communities, is still poorly understood.

The flat earth society has endorsed the science behind man-made climate change.

The popularity of the Japanese video game Space Invaders is thought to be a reflection of American fear and xenophobia while the game Tetris, a creation of Soviet science, has been used to correct lazy eye in older adolescents.

An assistant professor in Canada created kulturBot, a robot that is designed to tweet art criticism and hitchBot, a robot that successfully hitchhiked from Canada’s Maritime Provinces to British Columbia.

HitchBot’s second transnational journey, this time from Boston to San Francisco, was cut short after the robot was found decapitated and disemboweled in a roadside ditch outside of Philadelphia.

The development of Siri was funded by the Department of Defense.

A group of computer scientists in Singapore successfully downloaded the consciousness of a monkey to an artificial neural network but can’t get the digitized primate to stop screaming.

Microsoft’s Tay, an artificial intelligence designed to speak like a teenage girl, was instead radicalized online and had to be shut down shortly after launch.

The United States Air force is looking into how to handle Elon Musk’s pot use.

The earliest warning of the impending technological singularity was made in 1863 by Samuel Butler, an English author and satirist.

The article appeared in a New Zealand newspaper and provided an ominous warning that machines were undergoing an evolution similar to that of humans and that “in the course of ages we shall find ourselves the inferior race.”

Through his writing, Butler advocated for the cessation of mechanical progress and the destruction of any machine invention less than 300 years old which, ironically, would have included the steam powered printing press and newspaper itself.

Checking the facts with Dwight Myers:

Unfortunately, no one was able to correctly identify the false facts from our previous issues. It’s time to reveal the falsehoods of the last fortnight. The aforementioned study from the University of Nevada, mentioned in our September 10th issue, did not link chronic fatigue syndrome to the XMRV virus. The immunologist who led the study was sacked from her job after being accused of image manipulation. Also, the mice used in the study did not suffer from bladder shyness. To the best of my knowledge, that was a complete fabrication, as was the claim of avian-Marxism from our September 17th issue.

Keep checking the facts in this week’s issue, and as always, there will be prize for the student who correctly identifies the false fact.

A little proof that 2=1

Victor Martelle & Samantha Scetta – Technology Director & Editor-In-Chief

We let A=B: If A is 1, B is 1.

A and B are assumed to be real numbers

AA=AB Multiply an A on both sides

A2=AB And this is the result

A2-B2=AB-B2 Subtract B2 from both sides

(A+B)(A-B)=AB-B2 Note: (A2-B2)=(A+B)(A-B)

(A+B)(A-B)=B(A-B) And now we factorize out a B on right hand side

A+B=B Divided both sides by A-B

Now,

Since we said A=B

B+B=B

And if B is equal to 1?

1+1=1

Therefore,

2=1

This proof that we have done demonstrates that 2 is equal to 1

How is this possible? From line 6 to 7, we divided both sides by A-B. However, we assumed A is equal to B. If this was the case then A-B=0. Dividing by 0 is never to be done in mathematics.

Just the facts

Mike Dwyer – Anchor Staff

A Killer whale named Wikie has learned how to say “hello” and “bye-bye”, but still has no sense of smell. All marbled crayfish are clones, an anomaly which is thought to be the result of a reproductive accident that occurred in a German aquarium sometime around 1995.

Female bearded dragons grow a temporary penis during early development, puppies hit peak cuteness at eight weeks of age, some cats have thumbs and fearful dairy calves tend to be more pessimistic than their sociable peers.

Turkey vultures nest in the trunks of hollow trees while yellow-billed oxpeckers have been spotted roosting in the armpits of giraffes. A researcher in Japan conditioned pigeons to judge children’s artwork to be either “good” or “bad”. Hermit crabs actively seek lasting relationships with sea anemones, Ugandan warthogs will lie down in the presence of nit-picking mongooses, while white-tip sharks pose for cleaner wrasses, ending the engagement if the wrasse bites too hard.

A biology program produced mice with chronic bad breath. It is illegal to harvest the stomach bile of Vietnamese bile bears. Researchers in Ontario, Canada conclude that your dog will not save you.

Sometimes, Shoaling fish betray their friends. Male antelopes have been observed gas-lighting their female mates to get more sex. Up to 90 percent of koalas have chlamydia and it is infectious to humans. Some caterpillars have developed a taste for flesh. Chimpanzees, elephants, and dolphins have displayed what appears to be a form of proto-religious ritual, whereas starling murmurations are thought to have advanced to the early stages of avian-Marxism.

In Meerkat mobs, the alpha female will enslave others, forcing them to serve as wet nurses for her offspring. In defense, horned lizards may aim and squirt blood from their eyes. The cigarette snail kills its victims with a venomous harpoon. Cows will face either magnetic north or south while grazing, and are responsible for more human death per year than sharks. Recently voted “World’s Ugliest Animal”, the blobfish has very little bone or muscle in its body, and no swim bladder. A physicists in Paris has determined that cats can behave like a liquid, or a solid, depending on the circumstances.

The neotrogla, a cave-dwelling genus of barklice in Brazil, will copulate for up to 70 hours with its reverse sexual organs. Scientists in South Korea have genetically engineered a glow-in-the-dark puppy. A blind, bisexual goose named Thomas, who became the center of a highly publicized love triangle in New Zealand, has passed away at the age of 38. Thomas is survived by his eight cygnets, who were stolen several years prior by a rival named George.

 

Damages cause by your flicking habits

Samantha Malley & Samantha Scetta – Art Director & Editor-in-Chief

What do we think of when we think of littering? Coffee cups, candy wrappers and plastic bags… these are items that are constantly littering sidewalks and polluting oceans. A much more common yet absolutely insidiously littered item is actually the cigarette butts that are notoriously flicked out of car windows and onto the streets. Shockingly, the butts of cigarettes are the number one item littered not just in the United States… but throughout the whole entire world.

About four and a half trillion cigarette butts are littered every year making up more than a third of all litter. Once tossed to the ground, a cigarette butt can leach harmful chemicals such as arsenic and lead –simply creating an unnecessary and detrimental hazard to our natural world.

“Thousands upon thousands of ciggy butts in a fishes mouth”, Graphic by Wiley Sadowski

There are two visible parts that make up a cigarette: the tobacco and the plastic filter. Although the smokeable tobacco part is biodegradable by definition, the plastic filter is made up of cellulose acetate. This compound technically breaks down but never disappears…ever. Combine that with not only the thousands of chemicals found in a cigarette butt with all the other different types of litter found daily in the environment and you have a recipe for a toxic environment.

Reported just this year by the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup project, the top ten most littered items were all made up of plastic. These items included cigarettes, of course, food wrappers, plastic bottles and caps, plastic bags, and straws.

Sounds like the perfect recipe for a poisonous meal. All animals, from pets to wildlife can’t know the difference between food and garbage until it is already being eaten. This is especially true for marine life that are basically forced to ingest plastic waste. Would you want to eat a fish that has ingested cigarette butts?

Cigarettes cause a plethora of disease from lung cancer to liver cancer, and from erectile dysfunction to stroke. Smoking cigarettes is a debilitating habit that will eventually cause the smoker health problems that they would most likely not have had otherwise. Smoking cigarettes is a personal choice, however, when smoking around children or littering cigarette butts it becomes less personal and more harmful to other beings– this is when smoking becomes an environmental issue. There are other means of disposing cigarettes such as putting them into ashtrays and then emptying the ashtray into a garbage routinely.

However, when going for a walk or driving a car it is much easier to just throw the cigarette filter onto the ground rather than waiting to find a proper place to dispose of it. Unless people stop smoking cigarettes altogether, the butts are going to end up in our oceans, our front yards and the mouths of animals worldwide.

 

Flower power: phytoremediation and the sunflower

Lucille DiNaro – Business Manager

Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

It is about this time of year when Summer slowly melts into Autumn that New Englanders witness an explosion of plant life. The fast approaching harvest brings forth rolling fields of corn, tumbling pumpkin patches, and in recent years, sunflowers. This newfound popularity of the sunflower field did not arise like the kitschy tulip farms you see on Instagram. Recent studies have pegged Helianthus annuus–commonly known as the sunflower–as an effective phytoremediation agent, and it has caught farmer’s attention.

Native to the Americas, the sunflower is a drought tolerant, late blooming plant that has generally been avoided by farmers due to its fast-spreading and invasive nature. However, threats to soil fertility posed by increased heavy metal contamination and saline soils has caused many to reconsider this particular plant.

The sunflower is a known hyperaccumulator which makes it a great candidate for phytoremediation of soil. Simply put, the biological activities and processes of the sunflower allow the plant to absorb high concentrations of heavy materials in their tissue and simultaneously neutralize the surrounding soil. Research conducted by environmental scientists in the past ten years has attributed the sunflower the ability to absorb nickel, copper, arsenic, lead and cadmium from contaminated soils.

 

The 10,000 suns exhibit, intersection of Dollar and S. Main St Providence,
Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

The success of the sunflower as a phytoremediator is most likely attributed to its genetic makeup. Farmers and environmental scientists are drawn to the sunflower particularly due to its ability to thrive in moist soils, as soils near water systems are highly prone to contamination. Likewise, the invasive, self-maintaining nature of the sunflower significantly decreases the amount of labor involved in soil remediation.

The practice of phytoremediation via sunflower has been put into action right in our own backyard, at the intersection of Wickenden and South Main streets in Providence. Adam E. Anderson, registered landscape architect and professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, has incorporated the sunflower and its restorative properties in what he describes as a summer long botanical performance. 10,000 suns pictured above and below, was first installed in 2016 in an effort to both combat the toxicity of the soil on former I-195 land and provide a unique outdoor space for Providence citizens. Now in its third year, the garden has established a devoted community of volunteers who work tirelessly to plant and maintain the hundreds of rows of golden suns.

For decades, extraction and soil washing have existed as the primordial method of soil remediation, despite out of pocket cost and environmental risks. Phytoextraction of metals, on the other hand, is inexpensive, natural and miraculously effective. The sunflower survives and thrives throughout the phytoremediation process, positioning itself as a successful venture for farmers and environmental scientists to consider in the years to come.