Meet the Blob: Paris Zoo Displays Self-Healing, Problem-Solving Slime Mold
The organism known as Physarum polycephalum is part of the slime mold family and looks straight out of a horror movie.
Dubbed the "blob" after the 1958 and 1988 horror movies of the same name, the organism is actually Physarum polycephalum, a type of slime mold.
The organism is fascinating to scientists because it is neither an animal nor a fungus but can behave like both. Different types of slime mold are found all over the world, usually in damp, dark forests.
"The 'blob' is a living being that is part of some of nature's mysteries. We don't really know what it is," Bruno David, the director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, told Reuters.
Among the blob's many skills are finding and digesting food despite having no stomach, eyes or mouth; and learning and communicating, despite having no brain.
"The 'blob' will learn how to get past the barrier and get to its food, and it will start to do this more quickly and more strongly. If we fuse two blobs together, the one which learned will transmit its knowledge to the other," David explained.
The blob exhibit will officially open at the Paris Zoological Park on Saturday.
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