This thing right here is a slime mold. Most people have probably never heard of it. I had never heard of it until watching this video and doing some research on it. Slime molds are actually a single-celled organism that consists of a single huge plasmodium, and have millions of cell nuclei. The scientific name for this specific type of slime mold is Physarum polycephalum, it is actually one of the most studied slime molds in the world. They can even solve mazes! The mold is attracted to an oat flake that is sitting in the middle of the maze. There are many chemoattractants that are emitted from the oat flake that help guide the mold to its destination in the center of the maze. The tube that sits where the slime mold starts out in the maze is actually a protoplasmic tube that is formed during the initial inoculation of the area of the maze. The slime mold moves around by flowing itself around the maze. It is able to pick up on the chemoattractants that are put off by the oat flake which guide the slime mold to the oat flakes location.
Check Out This Slime Mold Solve This Maze!
Pretty crazy right? I’ve never seen a mold behave this way before in my entire life. It really does look like it’s thinking thing whole thing through as you watch it slowly flow to a dead-end then find its way back to where it needs to go. The biology of this type of mold is some pretty technical stuff that I won’t even pretend to understand fully. That’s one of the reasons I find science so fascinating. There is never a limit to the knowledge you can gain about the things that make up our world.