Popular Science

What has hundreds of sexes and excels at math? This is Slime Molds 101.

“The Blob” is way less mysterious than some have reported—but it's still really awesome.
“The Blob” is way less mysterious than some have reported—but it's still really awesome. (Wikimedia Commons/)

Scrolling through Twitter on Wednesday evening, I came across a Reuters article about a Parisian zoo's mysterious new resident: A mysterious "blob" with 720 sexes that "looks like a fungus but acts like an animal." I was confused, because the blob was not at all mysterious. The photo clearly showed a slime mold. In fact, the photo caption even said it was Physarum polycephalum. That's not even a new slime mold. It's actually, like, the most pedestrian of all the slime molds.

I'm not the first person to point this out (you can literally just Google the species name to read all be the most offended. That is why I, Rachel Feltman, lover of sexually-confused blobs and protist enthusiast extraordinaire, have logged on to give this organism the introduction it deserves.

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