A zoo has showcased a mysterious new organism dubbed “the blob”.
This newest exhibit of the Paris Zoological Park, which goes on display to the public on Saturday, has no mouth, no brain, 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. It’s a yellowish unicellular small living being which looks like a fungus but acts like an animal.
Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History said the creature “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,” he said.
As for the whole ‘having 720 sexes’ thing, that’s essentially just a way for scientists to help sell the story.
“They're not really sexes, they are mating types,” Tanya Latty, a slime mold researcher at the University of Sydney told CNET.
“Whether or not a slime mold can mate with another slime mold depends on its mating type which is determined by particular genes.”
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.
“We know for sure it is not a plant but we don’t really know if it’s an animal or a fungus,” Mr David said.
“It behaves very surprisingly for something that looks like a mushroom. It has the behaviour of an animal, it is able to learn.”
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