Dalila Ali Rajah
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Scientists Say This Intelligent 'Blob' Has 720 Sexes

Physarum polycephalum

Scientists in France believe an intelligent blob expresses some 720 different sexes. The Paris Zoological Park is showcasing the ultimate gender fluid.

"The blob is a living being which belongs to one of nature's mysteries," Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, told Australia-based ABC. "If we put it in a maze, it will learn and take the best route out of the maze to find its food. If we put an obstacle in front of it — the blob hates salt, for example — it won't get past it right away, even if there is food behind it.”

The creature has inspired scientists around the world to try and learn more. As far back as 2008, scientists at the Hokkaido University in Japan have tried to understand the amoeba.

Among the more interesting aspects about the slimy unicellular creature’s behavior may be the way it interacts with other specimen.

"If we fuse two blobs together, the one which learned will transmit its knowledge to the other, and so, it will know directly how to get past this barrier," David said.

Scientists have named the creature after the B-move horror monster The Blob.

The organism seems determined to break free of any of societal or scientific labels. Scientists dubbed the lifeform with the taxonomy Physarum polycephalum, but concede it does not hold to typical classification. It acts like an animal but appears to be more of a fungus.

"It behaves very surprisingly for something that looks like a mushroom,” David said. “It has the behaviour of an animal, it is able to learn."

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