Do plants really give out oxygen at night?
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says, yes.
The PM, while addressing a program on the importance of planting trees declared that trees produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide during the night.
Of course if one remembers middle-school lessons, this comment sounds strange.
To recapitulate, plants use a process called photosynthesis to convert light energy into chemical energy to fuel its activities. In the process oxygen is released as a by-product. Sunlight being an important component of the process, it occurs during the day.
Twitter can't stop laughing, and naturally, all his bizarre statements of yore have cropped up in the social media chatter.
Let us take you through a few of them first.
Earlier this year, Khan confused many when he said that Germany and Japan 'share' a border.
During his maiden UN General Assembly in September he called Prime Minister Modi the 'Indian President'.
Also this year, he met Saudi Arabian King Salman. He greeted him, but instead of addressing the royal he chose to speak to the translator standing by the King. The taken-aback royal however was not even given a chance to respond before Khan walked off.
But while the Oxford graduate's gaffes have gained notoriety, can we count the latest instance among them?
While it is indisputable that plants do absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen during the day, it still does not prove Imran Khan wrong.
If he was talking about Neem or Peepal trees for example, he is not wrong, as these plants do emit oxygen at night.
And if he was talking about the snake plant or Sansevieria, well then, his comments were right on point. The hardy plant converts converts a lot of carbon dioxide to oxygen at night.
Other examples which might have been in Khan's mind include Orchids and Gerber Daisies (Gerbera Jamesonii) or even Aloe Vera.
And for that matter, plants do indeed emit carbon dioxide throughout the day!
Perhaps in this case netizens were quick to judge, but their reactions are certainly hilarious. Take a look: