The "Blob", the creature that frightens biologists
It is neither a plant nor an animal. Just a single cell, unique, moving and ... intelligent! A true prodigy of evolution.
It sounds like a big joke from a biologist. Imagine an animal or plant organism or fungus made up of a single gigantic cell - likely to cover 10 m2, or even more - raffolating oatmeal and egg whites. Funny.
Imagine now that this creepy and slobbering unicellular being able to solve mathematics problems effortlessly, learn new behaviors and even transmit these teachings to his fellows; In short, a sort of learned mold. Very funny...
But no, not funny at all: "This organism, Physarum polycephalum, exists on Earth for at least 500 million years and thrives in the undergrowth," said Audrey Dussutour, the UFO's global specialist at the Center Research Center on Animal Cognition (Paul-Sabatier University, Toulouse). "We call him 'Blob', referring to an American horror film by 1958 that made Physarum the main character seeking to invade the planet. "It's a totally crazy, incredible, fascinating organism," says Carsten Janke, a specialist in eukaryotes at the Institut Curie (Paris).
Furiously strange and frankly invasive
As seasoned as they are, the biologists who have looked at the Blob have always found it furiously strange: horribly difficult to place on the tree of the living - it has only just been classified among the amoebozoa -, oddly organized with this single cell comprising millions of nuclei bathed in the same cytoplasm, frankly invasive with its tendency to overflow Petri dishes overnight at a growth rate of up to 4 cm per hour. Not to mention its ability to "resuscitate" after having undergone a frank desiccation ...
Source: https://www.science-et-vie.com/article/ ... istes-8786
The rest of this article can be read in Science & Vie n ° 1197 (June 2017), page 74: https://www.science-et-vie.com/video/au ... iecle-8633