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The blob, the creature that fascinates young people



Last April, astronaut Thomas Pesquet flew to the International Space Station (ISS) with a strange creature: a Physarum polycephalum, better known as the blob, on which he would measure the effects of weightlessness. In October, the same experiment was conducted on Earth by nearly 300,000 students to compare the behavior of this single-celled organism. endowed with exceptional adaptability “.

→ CONTEXT. A blob will join Thomas Pesquet in space

The operation, which aimed to “interesting young people in science has been a huge success, congratulates himselfEvelyne Cortiade,head of the education-youth department at the National Center for Space Studies (Cnes). After this experience, many continued their observations in class or at home.

No stomach, no brain

Ulysses, 14, has had a blob at home for several months. I like to observe how it moves, how it builds its venous network and what food it prefers, he says. It’s a rather special organization that it’s hard to identify with, but we can still get attached to it. »

The blob is indeed neither a plant nor an animal nor a fungus. He has no mouth, stomach and brain but he is able to eat, move “and even to learn”assures Audrey Dussutour, researcher at the CNRS and world blob specialist.

Biologically immortal

The enthusiasm for this yellow creature is such that some have decided to sell it. Mylène Durant, biologist, created the site Le labo du blob where she offers complete kits. Young people love it because there is something magical about waking up a dormant organism, she raises. Also, the experiment is safe. The child just needs to be accompanied to boil the water which will create the humid environment of the blob. »

In nature, this organism lives in the forest where it feeds on fungi and bacteria. In the laboratory or at home, he will mostly eat oatmeal. If we don’t feed it regularly, it can escape from the box to get its own food. But no risk of being invaded, assures Mylène Durant. ” He will only advance a few centimeters because, in the house, the conditions are not favorable to his survival. » The blob can age and dry out but it is biologically immortal. Just give him some water to wake him up.

In our opinion

Bought for a few euros or recovered from the wild by connoisseurs, the blob is an ideal subject of observation to interest children in science and make them aware of the living. Even if it is not a pet, it must be fed and cared for.

The blob “eats” to memorize

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