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My question is how would plants obtain helium in land?, mainly for floating in a high surface pressure atmosphere (maybe around 1.5 atm?), or at least its seeds or tiny parts of them, also it is probable that the plants could use hydrogen? Or another gas?

The idea is to have spores of those plants delivered into the air so they travel vast distances and also maybe tint the sky another colour? Also these spores may be 5cm in diameter or bigger.

Note that The atmosphere itself doesnt contain large quantities of helium.

And also how much surface pressure is needed for that to happen?

Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ @CarlosSamuelAriza Generally it's a good idea to wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer to attract more attention to a question. You can freely retract and re-accept answers. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Feb 2, 2022 at 23:22
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't know that, thank you :p $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2022 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Spores and some kinds of seed already travel vast distances with the wind alone. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2022 at 10:22

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Symbiosis

The plants can't easily concentrate helium from the atmosphere, because it interacts pretty weakly with most things, and it is so small it can slip straight back out of most enclosing membranes. Think of what happens to the helium balloon you might save from a fairground.

The plants also can't easily extract helium the way people do, because it comes from a natural gas well, tapping underground domes where it accumulates like the methane. (See Wikipedia) Plants aren't great at drilling natural gas wells.

Fortunately, your plant has a long-standing symbiotic relationship with a type of fungal mycelium that is capable of boring to great depths by secreting potent acids. That mycelium takes up natural gas to react at the surface for a well-nigh endless supply of energy. It also allows a steady stream of helium to diffuse through its tissues to the surface.

Your plant airdrops its fruits onto outcrops of these mycelia. The fruits supply nutrients including trace minerals from far away, dissolving into a sticky membrane that covers the happy fungus. The membrane traps helium emitted by the fungi, thinning and shaping itself into a balloon. When the time is right, the new balloon plant soars away with its captured gas.

Note: using hydrogen or methane seems much more sensible, but why should we cave in to that?

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Ammonia:

Ammonia is also a biologically derived lighter-than-air gas, with the unique property that it can be condensed into a liquid semi-easily, allowing adjustable buoyancy without venting gasses. Of course, you'd need a biological condenser, but ammonia will dissolve into water and out of a gaseous state. Then the ammonia is a ready source of biologically available nitrogen, and ammonia is already used as a fertilizer. What a nice present for your baby plants!

Hydrogen:

Plants can fairly easily produce hydrogen, and so a plant lofting spores using hydrogen would be quite simple.

Methane:

There are any number of ways methane can be biologically produced. A plant wouldn't even need to make it themselves, but could potentially harvest it from rotting materials, even animal waste that the plant might already be using for fertilizer.

Helium:

Sorry, I agree this is highly implausible. I won't say it's impossible, but why do something that hard when there are so many much easier ways to get lighter-than-air gasses?

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