World’s Strangest

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Slime Mold "Remembers" with External Memory

Photo: Tanya Letty A slime mold, which is neither slime nor mold, has no brain. But that doesn’t mean it cannot remember things. You see, it has an "external" memory system: In their experiment, Mr [...]

Meet the Snot Eel

Uh-oh! This shark has been slimed! The hagfish is also called the snot eel for a good reason. If attacked, it instantly oozes slime from its pores that teach a predator to never try that again. Watch this scene in action at National Geographic. Link -Thanks, Marilyn!

Slime Molds Solve Maze

I spent a year of college teaching rats to find their way through a maze, and now I find that slime molds, which don’t even have brains, can do the same thing! Professor Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Japan’s Future University Hakodate studies slime molds, which organize their colonies of cells to move toward a food source, [...]

LIBRETTO: The Bacterial Opera

Words: Marc Abrahams Music: Jacques Offenbach, Giuseppe Verdi, and Arthur Sullivan (And thanks to Mary Ellen Davey, Harriet Provine, Dany Adams, and Carl Zimmer for bacteriological insights, and Robert Csillag, DDS, and his staff for inspiration on microbial matters.) The Bacterial Opera premiered as part of the 20th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Sanders Theater, Harvard [...]

Slime Mold Packs Own Bacteria Lunch to Colonize New Areas

The amoeba species Dictyostelium discoideum slime mold (or dicty, as scientists lovingly call it) is one fascinating organism. For instance, its life cycle involves unicellular amoeba, then a multicellular slug that scoots around to find food, then a “fruiting body” to disperse spores to new growing areas. Scientists have just discovered that the slime mold is [...]

Double Dare Quiz

Remember the Nickelodeon game show Double Dare? Sure, you watched it for the slime, but if you remember more than that, you may do well on today’s Lunchtime Quiz at mental_floss. I scored 20%, because I am clueless, but the average score right now is 65%. Link

Borax Crystal Spider and Cthulhu

Natania had already planned to make slime and ectoplasm for Halloween when she came up with an idea for crystal-encrusted Halloween decorations. Get some pipe cleaners and some borax and make your own with her recipe. Link

Mushroom Madness

Watch slime molds and mushrooms grow in this time-lapse video. I was particularly taken with the Stinkhorn Mushroom, which casts a net! Link