09:04 GMT +321 November 2019
Listen Live
    A picture taken on October 16, 2019 at the Parc Zoologique de Paris (Paris zoological gardens) shows a Physarum Polycephalum better known as a Blob, an unicellular organism neither plant, mushroom nor animal and capable of learning despite its lack of neuron

    Zero Brain, Multiple Sexes: Mysterious Creature Unveiled by Parisian Zoo

    © AFP 2019 / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
    Tech
    Get short URL
    11200
    Subscribe

    As the director of the Paris Museum of Natural History noted, while researchers know that the creature in question is not a plant, they are as yet uncertain whether it’s an animal or a fungus.

    A bizarre new unicellular organism which has the appearance of a fungus but acts like an animal has recently been added to the Paris Zoological Park’s exhibits.

    The creature, which was named “blob” in an apparent homage to the eponymous 1958 horror film about an amoeboidal alien entity devouring people, is capable of detecting and digesting food despite its lack of eyes, mouth and stomach, can move without legs and wings, and heals itself in two minutes if cut in half, not to mention that it has almost 720 sexes.

    The blob, slime mould (Physarum polycephalum), a single-celled organism forming over tree chunk, is pictured at the Paris Zoological Park during a press preview in Paris, France, October 16, 2019
    © REUTERS / BENOIT TESSIER
    The "blob", slime mould (Physarum polycephalum), a single-celled organism forming over tree chunk, is pictured at the Paris Zoological Park during a press preview in Paris, France, October 16, 2019
    "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. "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".

    He also remarked that while researchers “know for sure” that the yellowish organism is not a plant, they are not certain whether it is an animal or a fungus.

    "It behaves very surprisingly for something that looks like a mushroom (...) it has the behaviour of an animal, it is able to learn", David noted.

    News of this development seemed to have amused many social media users who focused their attention on the creature’s peculiar traits.

    At least one netizen noted, however, that this trait is “actually super common” when it comes to slime molds and fungi.

    And some joked about the possible alien origins of the creature.

    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik