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A botanist has explained the true biology – and thus, identity – of Baby Groot.
The character materialised in the post-credits scene of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film after Groot (Vin Diesel) sacrificed himself to save other members of the team and the universe from Thanos’s destruction.
A much smaller Groot could be seen throwing some serious shapes after the titles rolled, with Baby Groot featuring in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. and a teenage Groot appearing in the recently-released Avengers: Infinity War.
Nonetheless, one question remained: was baby Groot the original Groot reborn or actually his offspring?
Guardians director James Gunn tried to settle this debate back in February, telling a fan that “first Groot is dead. Baby Groot is his son”.
However, real-life botanist James Wong has offered a different explanation as to Groot’s true identity, claiming he is actually a “perfect genetic clone” of the first Groot who probably has all his memories.
Colour us SHOOK.
“Baby Groot is the result of a form of asexual reproduction known as vegetative propagation,” Wong explained.
“Plants, unlike most animals, retain their stem cells through their lives. So cloning them is super easy. Baby Groot is therefore a perfect genetic clone of Big Groot.”
He continued: “Sons tend to only share 1/2 their DNA with their parents. So this analogy is tricky. Genetically they are one and the same, more like identical twins.
“(Unless, of course, Baby groot was actually grown from the pollen/spores/seeds emitted by Groot in the crash landing scene?)”
Wong added: “If it was indeed pollen in that scene, it would suggest there is a mysterious ‘Lady Groot’ character we have so far not seen.
“However, as many (most?) plants are simultaneously male and female, it is highly likely that we all have our pronouns wrong here!
“And finally, as we now know even Earth plants can process complex information about the world around them & retain it without the need for a centralised storage organ like animals need (ie a brain).
“If Baby groot is a cutting, it is likely it retains Big Groot’s memories!”
He concluded: “And if you are cross about this thread proposing a speculative hypothesis about fictional, alien exobiology…. Congrats! You are even more of a geek than me.”
God bless science.
Avengers: Infinity War is in cinemas now.
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