‘Venom is real!’: Intelligent, goo-like ‘blob’ unveiled at Paris zoo

Cheryl Sanders
October 18, 2019

It has no brain, is bright yellow and has 720 sexes.

Behold the "blob." It looks like a fungus, acts like an animal, heals itself within minutes and survives without a mouth, legs, wings or a brain - and it can learn.

"The blob is a living being which belongs to one of nature's mysteries", said Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, which includes the park, in an interview with Reuters. "[It] teaches us a lot about the richness of life on Earth".

It's also precisely as gross as you'd imagine, but biologists are fascinated by The Blob and other slime moulds like it.

Dussutour explained that while the "Physarum polycephalum", aka the blob, has always been studied, this is the first time it will be on exhibit at a zoo.

A creature known as "the blob" will soon go on display at a zoo in Paris.

Physarum polycephalum is a yellow-hued slime mold, a group of organisms that are not, in spite of their name, fungi.

Scientists at the Paris Zoological Park, where the blob is now on display, suggest the organism can make it's way through mazes and solve basic problems.

It is one of nature's most freakish creatures. Technically, the organism known as the "blob," is neither. It is also self-healing - able to regenerate itself in just two minutes after being cut in half. The slime mold is widely used in scientific experiments.

"If we fuse two blobs together, the one which learned will transmit its knowledge to the other, and so, it will know directly how to get past this barrier". Scientists grew it in a petri dish until it was large enough to graft onto tree bark - its "favorite places" to hang include acacia trees and oak and chestnut bark - and then move to a terrarium.

The creature has been dubbed "the blob" in honour of The Blob, a 1958 B-movie in which an alien creature devours everything and everyone in a small USA town. "If we put an obstacle in front of it - the blob hates salt, for example - it won't get past it right away, even if there is food behind it".

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