Image still: Nick Lariontsev
Slime molds and fungi might not rank high on anyone s list of favorite organisms, but there is a compelling beauty in their growth patterns.
As Gizmodo s Maddie Stone wrote last year:
Slime mold is a broad term referring to a diverse and ancient group of organisms known for their slimy, vegetative secretions.
Many slime molds are actually comprised of single celled organisms that spend most of their time separate, banding together to form a single, moving slime body when times are tough.
They can solve mazes, alter their appearance depending on surrounding conditions, and they re surprisingly good at finding the most efficient path to food.
By exploiting the latter, scientists have recreated a map of the United States in slime mold, as well as ancient Roman road networks between the 1st and 4th century AD.
You can watch the original magnified footage of fungi and slime molds below, courtesy of photographer Nick Lariontsev.