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The alien-like blob that can think


You don’t have to watch science fiction to find freaky creatures, there are plenty of them right here on planet Earth. Take this slime mold for example. Despite not having ears, eyes or even a brain this slime is capable of learning, solving puzzles and even making decisions.

The slime’s technical name is Physarum polycephalum, but its more commonly known as “The Blob.”

This freaky organism is neither a plant or animal but rather an “amoebozoa”. 

Here, you can see the blob solving a maze in the lab. 

When it is placed in a new environment, it will spread out in every direction, assessing the environment. If it finds something it likes it will reinforce the pathway. If  it finds something it doesn’t like it will retract.
Incredibly the mold was more efficient than graduate students at finding the exit route. 

In another experiment, researchers put the blob on a map of Japan with oat flakes placed over the major cities. The slime mold spread itself to get to the food in the most efficient way possible and freakily when it was done, the pattern looked almost identical to the Japanese Rail System. (Source: Science journal) 

Slime molds have existed on Earth for billions of years, and can be found in temperate zones all over in the world. 

But the blob was not actually discovered until 1973  by a Texan who found it in his backyard. 

The blob can move at a speed of 1.6 inches per hour, heal it self dissected, and can regenerate after a dormant period so it doesn’t age. 

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