June 14, 2024
The Blob isn't an animal, plant, or fungus. The Blob has 720 sexes, but not a brain. The Blob loves oatmeal and is a billion years old.
The Blob, which scientists at the Paris Zoo grew in petri dishes, eats tree bark, but prefers oatmeal. (Don't we all?)
The Blob, which scientists at the Paris Zoo grew in petri dishes, eats tree bark, but prefers oatmeal. (Don’t we all?)

Although The Blob in the photo above look like a lichen, it’s not a plant. Or a fungus. Or an animal, even though it has characteristics of all three. Instead, The Blob, which has 720 sexes, is actually a slime mold belonging to the Myxomycetes family, and will go on display at the Paris Zoological Park beginning tomorrow.

Slime mold is a less technical way of saying that The Blob is a eukaryotic organism with the ability to exist as a standalone being or aggregate with other organisms. The Blob can detect and digest food, despite not having a mouth, stomach, or eyes, and it can heal itself in a matter of minutes if it loses a branch or gets cut in half, per Reuters.

The Blob, scientifically known as Physarum polycephalum (“many-headed slime”) can also move and expand itself across surfaces at the rate of 1.6 inches an hour, according to CNN.

Oh, and it could be a billion years old. Pretty gnarly résumé for our guy.

The Blob’s exhibition showcases its rare skills, which also include being able to learn and pass on information to other Blobs that get annexed onto it.

“If you merge two Blobs, the one that has learned will transmit its knowledge to the other,” Bruno David, Director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, part of the Zoological Park, told Reuters.

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