Paris Zoo Introduces Mysterious 'Blob' With 720 Sexes
Wed, April 14, 2021

Paris Zoo Introduces Mysterious 'Blob' With 720 Sexes

 

In May 1973, a Texan found “the blob,” otherwise known as Physarum polycephalum, expanding in her garden. While it attracted many people before, its appeal died out quickly. Recently, the Paris Zoological Park unveiled the strange unicellular organism to the public, which garnered the world’s attention. 

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

The blob’s Latin name translates to “the many-headed slime.” What’s extremely fascinating about this organism is that it can eat, digest food, learn, move, and pass the knowledge onto others – all without a brain. The particular slime mold in Paris has over 720 sexes and is believed to be around one billion years old. It has the ability to split apart and fuse back together. 

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, the mysterious blob can move at a speed of 1.6 inches per hour, solve problems despite its lack of a brain, and heal itself when dissected. Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, said, “The blob is a living being which belongs to one of nature’s mysteries. It surprises us because it has no brain but is able to learn…and if you merge two blobs, the one that has learned will transmit its knowledge to the other.”

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society reported that this type of slime mold thrives in temperatures moving between 19 and 25 degrees Celsius with humidity levels reaching 80 percent and 100 percent. It is usually found on Europe’s forest floors, particularly in oak bark, acacia trees, and chestnut bark. Oatmeal seems to be its favorite food. At least, that’s what scientists are feeding it for the time being.

The blob huddles up together only when each mold’s genetic material has a compatible set of genes (called mat A, mat B, and mat C) — each has up to 16 variations.

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