Trees make noise when they are thirsty

Trees make different noises when they are thirsty and extremely parched, according to scientists from Grenoble University in France.

They are known to make sounds related to other processes so, in 2013, researchers decided to try and isolate the thirst-related ones based on an understanding of how trees typically draw water in.

National Geographic has compared the process to "essentially...drinking from a really long 'straw.'"

Tree trunks contain tube structures called xylem which are able to pull water upward through attractive forces at the cellular and molecular level.

However, as the amount of available water decreases, air bubbles can get introduced into the inner tubes and potentially threaten the health of the tree.

So scientists designed a special microphone to capture and record these air bubble sounds which are not naturally detectable to the human ear.

One goal they envisioned was to equip forest experts with these devices so that trees could be monitored for potential thirst and be treated as needed.

RELATED: Nature reclaiming man-made things and areas

Nature reclaiming man-made things and areas
See Gallery
Nature reclaiming man-made things and areas

Overgrown field of wildflowers in urban setting

(Photo by Helene Cyr via Getty Images)

The 'Tunnel of Love', an overgrown private railway which serves a nearby mill. A train runs up & down the track three times daily, keeping the shrubbery trimmed to the exact shape of the train.

(Photo by Amos Chapple via Getty Images)

Meadow vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis) and brambles (Rubus) growing on the dashboard of the abandoned car in 'car graveyard' Bastnas, Sweden.

(Photo by Pal Hermansen via Getty Images)

The Fisher Body Plant 21 is located on the southeast corner of Piquette and St. Antoine. It was designed in 1921 by Albert Kahn for Fisher Body, who manufactured Buick and Cadillac bodies in the plant until 1925. The plant is six stories tall, with a footprint of 200 feet (61 m) by 581 feet (177 m) and an interior area of 536,000 square feet. During the Great Depression, Fisher suspended production and the building was used as a soup kitchen and homeless shelter.

(Photo by Tudor ApMadoc via Getty Images)

Tangle of roots of overgrowing ruins of Ta Prohm Temple, Khmer Empire, UNESCO World Heritage site. The famous tree growing in the Ta Prohm temple ruins in Cambodia is Tetrameles nudiflora.

(Photo by Paul Biris via Getty Images)

Early 1900's whaling station remnant boats, Godthul Bay, South Georgia Island.

(Photo by Patrick J. Endres via Getty Images)

A moss-covered footbridge on a hiking trail in Taiwan.

(Photo by Craig Ferguson/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Flowers, Factory Butte area near Hanksville, Utah.

(Photo by Whit Richardson via Getty Images)

The Moss Cabin at UrNatur's Wood Hermitage, or Eco Lodge, in southern Sweden.

(Photo by Bo Zaunders via Getty Images)

Moss covered boulder and footbridge in Pilgrimage site of Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary, in Braga, northern Portugal

(Photo by Achim Bednorz via Getty Images)

Surreal canal and park at night

(Photo by Silvia Otte via Getty Images)

Groynes on the Baltic coast, sunset, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Zingst, Fischland-DarÃ-Zingst, Germany

(Photo by Alessandra Sarti via Getty Images)

Billys Visitor Centre, a bothy on the small island of Eilean Mor MacCormick, Argyll & Bute, Scotland UK.

(Photo by Stephen Dorey via Getty Images)


Read Full Story