20 Amazing Facts About Bamboo
20 Amazing Facts About Bamboo
Story and Research By Carole A. Zellers
1. Bamboo is not a treeBecause of its height and strong stem, many people mistake it to be a tree. But in reality, it belongs to the family of grasses. It is the tallest grass existing in the world. It has 1,718 identified species in the world. Bamboos can be divided into two large groups. One is running bamboo and the other is clumping bamboo. Running bamboo’s roots expand outwards aggressively. So, it might invade the neighboring areas. These kinds of bamboos grow in temperate regions such as China But the clumping bamboos stay within the clump. So, they do not expand much from their area. Clumping bamboos grow in tropical regions. This group of bamboo forms the largest bamboo species.
2. It can grow super-fast
One of the reasons why bamboo is so profitable to grow is because it grows very fast. It is seen that the Moso variety of bamboo which is mostly grown in the forests of China and Japan can grow up to 1 meter in 24 hours.The bamboo shoot grows with a full diameter and keeps growing tall until it reaches the full height. It can keep growing for several months. After the shoot stops growing, secondary branches start growing from the nodes. These branches bear leaves.
3. Bamboo can release more oxygen than hardwood
It is scientifically proven that bamboo can release 35% more oxygen than most trees. It also absorbs five times more carbon dioxide. That is why it is extremely beneficial for the environment to grow more bamboo.
4. Bamboo is naturally antifungal and antibacterial
Bamboo can fight with fungus and bacteria on its own. A naturally occurring bioagent protects from these destructive microbes. As a result, bamboo can be grown without the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides. This again is an eco-friendly property of the bamboo plants.
5. Bamboo is incredibly strong
The tensile strength is much more than that of steel. Its tensile strength is measured to be 28,000 pounds per square inch. For this reason, bamboo is largely used as a construction material. It is also used to make reinforced concrete instead of steel. In China, bamboo has been used for thousands of years in making suspension bridges.
6. Bamboo used in many historical inventions
Did you know that bamboo is a part of multiple revolutionary inventions? Bamboo was used in making the first light bulb by Thomas Edison. A carbonized bamboo filament was used in the bulb. He bought bamboo from a farm in Japan and used carbonized bamboo filaments in his lamps from 1880 until the early 1890s.
The first helicopter was based on a bamboo toy that children in China used that dates back to 400 B.C.
7. Planting bamboo on your property can benefit you in many ways
If you plant bamboo on your property then you will be experiencing natural air cooler effect. It is proven that the shade that is provided by bamboo can make the surrounding area feel 15 degrees cooler. A wall of bamboo can also be built to work as a windbreaker or a visual shield against the nosy neighbors. Besides, bamboo roots protect the soil from erosion caused by heavy rainfall.
8. Bamboo is edible
Bamboo has been consumed as a food for centuries. In Asian regions, bamboo is eaten fresh, pickled, or cooked. Especially in China, the tradition of bamboo dishes is still prevalent. It is low in calories but an excellent source of dietary fibers and potassium. It is the favorite food of pandas, elephants, gorillas, and chimps as well.
9. Bamboo is used to make a wide range of products
Bamboo is such a versatile plant that is used to make a variety of products. It is multipurpose and that is why its demand in industrial manufacturing is increasing rapidly. It is used in making scaffolding, support beams, walls, roofs, flooring, blinds, furniture, pipe, cups, buckets, chopsticks, toothpick, eating utensils, paper, biofuel, fishing rods, flutes, kendo swords, and a lot more.
10. A floating bridge was made in Thailand using bamboo
In Thailand, a 450-meter long floating bridge was made by the villagers using bamboo. It took to take them six days to build the bridge. It was built as a temporary replacement for a wooden bridge that had collapsed.
11. Traditional medicine
Bamboo is used as a traditional medicine to treat cold and flu symptoms. The bamboo shavings are used in this case. They are ingested to fight nasal congestion, fever, and convulsion. Additionally, bamboo sap is used in solid or liquid form to make similar medicines for cough and cold.
12. Bamboo was used in making ancient books
As we all know that before the invention of paper, people used bark and leaves of various trees to compile their writings. Well, bamboo was one of the most widely used element to write on. People used bamboo strips to write on. Thus, ancient books were made using bamboo.
13. One billion people live in bamboo houses
It is a startling fact that around one billion people all over the world live in bamboo houses. That is one-seventh of the global population. 73% of the people of Bangladesh reside in bamboo houses. Especially in the tribal regions, many beautifully built bamboo houses can be seen. A wide variety of household items are also made from bamboo such as mats, trays, bottle jars, boxes, etc.
14. Bamboo survived Hiroshima
Bamboo is the only plant that could survive the bombings that happened in Hiroshima. The radioactive emissions occurring from the atomic explosions had made the land completely infertile for plants to grow for years onwards. But one bamboo grove survived this attack. That grove has been preserved in the museum of Hiroshima. This only proves the resilience that this plant has.
15. Bamboo comes in different colors
You can find bamboo in unusual colors such as yellow, blue, black, red, and its traditional green color. So, you can use these bamboos for home décor as well and click beautiful pictures.
16. Bamboo grows indoors also
We have seen the giant bamboo trees in the forests or outside people’s houses. But some species of bamboo can also grow indoors. They are great for decorating houses or brightening up the office. But they do require a lot of care if they are being grown indoors. Because they are not as self-sufficient as cacti. So, the lack of sunlight and natural air will have an effect on them. But with proper research and care, they can thrive indoors as well.
17. Bamboo ensures employment for billions of people
It has been found that industries that use bamboo employ more than 2.2 billion people globally. The farmers get a lot of profit from growing bamboo. They say it is more profitable for them than other crops. But other than the farmers, the factory workers, the construction workers, and architects that make bamboo products and housing are also under the consideration for those who get jobs due to bamboo.
18. Every part of the bamboo is useful
From stems to shoots, every part of the bamboo plant has a purpose. Also, the roots of the plant are used in making herbal tonic. The unused parts of the bamboo plant are used in making coal.
19. Bamboo has cultural and religious values
Another amazing fact about bamboo is that the cultural and religious association with bamboo has been going on for centuries. There is something called “Lucky bamboo” which is quite popular in China. It is considered to have a very positive impact on people’s lives. Artists, painters, sculptors, and poets have been using bamboo as a muse also.
20. Bamboo burns faster than hardwoods
Bamboo is less dense than hardwood. Due to this, bamboo burns very quickly. But it does not release much heat. That is why bamboo is not used for making fireplaces. But it is used in charcoal production because of this.
... The Ultimate Fact About Bamboo IS ...
That Bamboo is much more than most people realize. It has been on an incredible journey throughout time. It provides our planet and it's inhabitants with so many incredible uses. It is not only sustainable resource, but has also been, and continues to be, a major player in many advancements in our world today. Bamboo is nothing less than a "spectacular friend" and we can consider it one of the greatest gifts nature provides.
- Carole Zellers