Nature works in ways we sometimes can't fully grasp. This is especially true for slower processes that take months or years. For example, to shed light on how soil can decompose familiar objects, a creator known as Photo Owl produces enlightening timelapses that show what earth can do over a long period of time. In one of their most compelling videos, Photo Owl places three cigarettes inside a glass jar and tops it with dirt before closing it for an entire year. The results of this unique experiment are simply fascinating.
The effects of the soil on the cigarettes are almost immediate. The humidity in the dirt dampens the paper in a matter of hours. Only a day later, the cigarettes are already decaying and falling apart. At this point, the true action begins. The organisms living in the soil start taking over the tobacco and make it disappear. The clever close-ups offer a sped up vision of the living beings in the jar disintegrating the cigarettes.
As the days go by, a layer of bright green moss begins to cover the insides of the jar. By the 200-day mark, only a few bits of the paper and the filters remain. As further proof that feeding the ground leads to growth, a little plant pops up at the top of the jar.
The moment of truth comes a year later, as the producer opens the glass container. After taking all the dirt out, they spot the three cigarette filters. Since the soil has taken apart the paper and the tobacco, whatever was left of it had come undone when taking out the soil from the jar.
Photo Owl has run similar experiments with different products, such as a watermelon slice in soil for a little over a month, or placing an apple in water for an entire year. The different and unique results show how, while we may not be fully aware of it, there are always things happening at a microscopic level. And while it may take a while, the power of nature, even at the smallest scale, can't be understated.