A Paris zoo showcased a mysterious new organism, dubbed the “blob”, a yellowish unicellular small living being which looks like a fungus but acts like an animal.
This newest exhibit of the Paris Zoological Park, has no mouth, 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.
“The blob is a living being which belongs to one of nature’s mysteries”, said Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, of which the Zoological Park is part.
“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,” David added.
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.
Scientists initially grew the organism in petri dishes, feeding it oatmeal, its favourite food, according to a video published by the Zoological Park. Once it had reached a certain size, it was grafted onto tree bark, which it feeds on and placed in a terrarium, where visitors can view it.
“Acacia trees, oak bark and chestnut bark are its favorite places,” said the zoo’s staff member Marlene Itan.
Blobs are normally found on forest floors in Europe, she added. “It thrives in temperatures oscillating between 19 and 25 degrees Celsius (66 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) and when humidity levels reach 80% to 100%,” she said.
Almost immortal, its only foes are light and drought, according to the zoo’s press release. But it can hibernate during several years when threatened, it added.