You know, in terms of sheer entropy-defying, order-creating, “just run physics and improbable things will happen” weirdness, plants are pretty impressive.
Like, humans are the undisputed champs, no question. If you Just Run Physics™
on a human you will get hilariously improbable objects popping up out of nowhere, things like birthday cakes and skyscrapers and epic poems and Large Hadron Colliders. And this is kind of mind-blowing - a testament to the power of whatever the heck intelligence is.
But plants are no slouch either. If an animal wants a complex molecule like a protein or a carbohydrate, well, no problem - there’s plenty of them floating around that it can just eat. But a plant? No such luck. If a plant wants a complex molecule it has to freakin’ synthesize it from scratch. And the way it does that by taking in CO2, stripping off the carbon, and then building up whatever complex molecule it wants carbon atom by goddamn carbon atom. And it’s not like it just has to do this for a few specialty molecules - the entire freaking plant is made out of those complex carbon molecules.
The next time you see a tree, remind yourself that it started off as a tiny seed and then literally built itself out of thin air.