Hello and welcome to another scintillating week of untrue statements here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the inscrutable Blurred_9L, who asked:
Why do plants produce oxygen?
This is an excellent question, that takes us back up through our roots in the Plant Kingdom.
A few short generations after the decline of the last Plant King, the Plant Kingdom experienced what could be termed a new renaissance. Necessity is, as they say, the mother of invention, and the plants were finding a great necessity for the advent of new jobs. There was no call for guards for the Plant King with no Plant King to guard, and, with the fall of the monarchy, many plants who had until now rested on their proverbial laurels as Plant Barons and Plant Dukes were suddenly finding that they were both expected and required to work for a living.
With a great many unskilled plant labourers, a factory seemed an ideal solution to the problem – and a second problem, which this could also solve, was arising at this very moment.
The Animal Kingdom, right around this time, had just discovered oxygen as a far less lethal and equally breathable substance to arsenic. The only impediment to taking out this new lease on life, the Animal Kingdom found, was that oxygen, particularly in comparison to the ubiquitous arsenic, was a very rare substance. There was certainly not enough for more than the elite few to consume it via respiration.
Enter the Plant Kingdom, who did not need the oxygen for themselves, but who had long since perfected – and all but forgotten, due to its erstwhile lack of utility – a method of creating oxygen from scratch. Suddenly the plants were hard at work in the oxygen plants, churning out breathable air for the Animal Kingdom – and making a tidy profit at the same time, even as they lowered costs so that all members of the Animal Kingdom can breathe.
In short, Blurred_9L: Plants produce oxygen because it pays to do so.
Disclaimer: the above post contains discrepancies with reality. Many plants do not receive monetary compensation for producing oxygen.