Your weather when it really mattersTM

Country

Please choose your default site

Americas

Asia - Pacific

Europe

Zoo unveils the "blob", an organism with no brain but 720 sexes

Sunday, October 20th 2019, 1:37 pm - The organism, a harmless slime mould, also shows capacity for learning and fast healing.

PARIS (Reuters) - A Paris zoo showcased a mysterious new organism on Wednesday, dubbed the "blob", a yellowish unicellular small living being which looks like a fungus but acts like an animal.

This newest exhibit of the Paris Zoological Park, which goes on display to the public on Saturday, has no mouth, no stomach, no eyes, yet it can detect food and digest it.

The blob also has almost 720 sexes, can move without legs or wings and heals itself in two minutes if cut in half.

Reuters Benoit Tessier the blob 1 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 is a living being which belongs to one of nature's mysteries", said Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, of which the Zoological Park is part.

"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," David added.

The blob was named after a 1958 science-fiction horror B-movie, starring a young Steve McQueen, in which an alien life form - The Blob - consumes everything in its path in a small Pennsylvania town.

Reuters Benoit Tessier the blob 3 REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

"We know for sure it is not a plant but we don't really if it's an animal or a fungus," said David.

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

Reuters Benoit Tessier the blob 2 REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reporting by Thierry Chiarello and Kathryn Carlson; Writing bu Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Nick Macfie)

WATCH BELOW: HUNGRY PLANTS PROVE THEY'RE CAPABLE OF DEVOURING SALAMANDERS

Default saved
Close

Search Location

Close

Sign In

Please sign in to use this feature.