"We humans look rather different from a tree. Without a doubt we perceive the world differently than a tree does. But down deep, at the molecular heart of life, the trees and we are essentially identical." – Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Argument

Keanu is really just a tree

Rebuttal

Claiming that Keanu Reeves is in reality a tree or made of wood is a pretty serious accusation, and one that has the potential to hurt many of his friends and family who would no doubt feel rather deceived and possibly repulsed at the knowledge that someone they knew and loved turned out to be a plant (or ex-plant) they knew and loved.

However, let's not jump to hasty conclusions and first examine the claim a little more closely. As Keanu has been accused of being a tree, let us first lay out some of the things we know about trees and see how much of it is true about him:

  1. Trees tend to have brown trunks and green leaves spread out on their branches. Most of them grow straight up.
  2. They are capable of making their own food by standing in the sun.
  3. They give off oxygen.
  4. Fourthly, with the exceptions of growth and swaying in the breeze, they do not move.

Now let's go through this point by point. For the first, pictures would probably help, so this is a picture of Keanu:

The first thing we notice is that he is bent slightly at the waist. This is not a very healthy position for a tree. It is always best for trees to remain completely upright, because this enables them to be closer to the sun and hence more efficient in photosynthesis.

We also notice the four long things sticking out, which at first glance appear to be arms and legs, but we have to remember that if he is indeed a tree, he is a tree that has managed to fool people for over forty years. In that amount of time, he or it would have very likely learnt to imitate humans by making its branches look like a regular person's limbs.

(Note however the lack of leaves or indeed anything green, although it is also a very real possibility that his clothes are hiding it.)

As such, using the first point alone we are not able to conclusively determine if Keanu is a tree or human.

The second trait of trees is their ability to photosynthesise through their leaves. There is a problem here; as illustrated in the previous point, there is no hint of green anywhere on Keanu, which would suggest that he either sheared off all his leaves, or is hiding them under his clothes.

Photographic evidence of Keanu eating would make the former option the more likely one, though we have to keep in mind the possibility that he merely does so as part of his whole human-act. However, as there has yet to be any photographic evidence of Keanu standing naked under the sun covered in leaves, it is probable that he gets all his nutrients through his mouth.

Moving on to the third point: trees give off oxygen. And this is where some concrete proof finally comes into play. At first thought it might look hard to determine whether or not Keanu gives off oxygen via photosynthesis, especially seeing how he is evidently not making full use of his leaves' food-making capabilities.

However, there have been recorded instances of fans fainting in Keanu's presence. Now, while an excess of oxygen would not have such a result, a lack of oxygen would – which leaves us with the incontrovertible evidence that Keanu takes in more oxygen than he gives out, resulting in a net loss of oxygen around him and hence the fainting fans.

This so far is the strongest proof of Keanu not being a tree.

The fourth and final point about trees is that they do not move, but stay in one position in the ground. This rather disturbing picture shows what appears to be Hugo Weaving uprooting Keanu from the ground during the filming of Matrix Revolutions:

Of course, it could also simply mean that Hugo Weaving is really, really short. Nonetheless, trees are known to be unable to survive for long after being uprooted from the ground. Matrix Revolutions finished filming about six years ago, and Keanu is still well and alive and looking healthy.

All this leaves us with one of three options:

  1. Keanu is both a tree and a really good actor, seeing as how he has been able to pass off as human for over four decades, or
  2. Keanu is a human, or
  3. Keanu is a tree-zombie.

I admit that further research into the matter is still needed to determine which of the three is the truth. Of some help to the matter in favour of option 2 is the fact that Keanu supposedly fathered a child. Current science has not yet ventured far into the area of human-tree hybrids, so we do not know yet if such a birth is biologically possible. In the meantime, you are free to make your own conclusions.