The phantom leaf effect: a replication, part 1

J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Feb;21(2):83-90. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0182. Epub 2015 Jan 20.


Objectives: To replicate the phantom leaf effect and demonstrate a possible means to directly observe properties of the biological field.

Design: Thirty percent to 60% of plant leaves were amputated, and the remaining leaf sections were photographed with corona discharge imaging. All leaves were cut before placement on film. A total of 137 leaves were used.

Subjects: Plant leaves of 14 different species.

Results: Ninety-six phantom leaf specimens were successfully obtained; 41 specimens did not yield the phantom leaf effect.

Conclusions: A normally undetected phantom "structure," possibly evidence of the biological field, can persist in the area of an amputated leaf section, and corona discharge can occur from this invisible structure. This protocol may suggest a testable method to study properties of conductivity and other parameters through direct observation of the complete biological field in plant leaves, with broad implications for biology and physics.

MeSH terms

  • Electricity
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Photography / methods*
  • Plant Leaves / physiology*