Can seeds grow in your stomach?

The old story about a watermelon growing from a seed to a full-size fruit inside your belly is just a myth. The truth is that watermelon seeds and other fruit seeds will simply navigate your digestive system and be eliminated from your body over the course of a day or so. While there have been rare cases of plants growing in the lungs, the stomach is too harsh an environment for any seed to survive there. But speaking of surviving harsh environments, we have a new program that focuses on just that, and it could even save your life one day.

Have you ever wondered if it's possible to survive something as deadly as a solar storm? As anyone who has seen a dandelion sprout from a crack in the pavement can attest, abundant seeds often sprout in the most unlikely places. In a world where seeds could easily grow in the stomach, demand for seedless fruits and vegetables would skyrocket. The best thing to do, in a world where seeds can grow in the stomach, is not to eat any seeds under any circumstances. Because of all the extra time it would take to remove each small seed, people would rather pay more, or pay nothing, for the privilege of not becoming a fruit tree.

This would be a world in which seeds have adapted to grow much faster than ever, since normally a seed takes several weeks to germinate, while the stomach digests its food in a few hours. Once these animals excrete the non-digestible seeds, the plants have the opportunity to take root wherever the animal deposits excrement. All other things being equal, once a seed finds that its conditions are hospitable, cell reproduction accelerates and the plant grows to maturity, producing its own seeds. Believed to have evolved some 360 million years ago (through EarthSky), you could say that seeds are among nature's greatest inventions.

Something like a human embryo in the womb, each seed functions somewhat differently, but most seeds share fundamental similarities between all plant species. Assuming that the plant growing inside you can survive this intestinal attack, it could steal some of the nutrients you're trying to digest. Even a seed in a dead person's pocket or a seed in the general burial area could gather nutrients from a decaying body, he said.

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

Subtly charming beer nerd. Extreme internet specialist. Devoted travel junkie. Proud coffee maven. Friendly problem solver.