Roving reporter Nicola interviewed Intelligent Slime Mould from under a rock at Hollow Pond in Waltham Forest, England.
I hide in dark places. In dark trees, in the bark of trees, under stones, under grass, I hide in the soil. It’s not easy to detect me. I don’t like the sunlight. It’s a threat for me, it makes me dry and go into a kind of dormant stage. That’s why you’ll only find me in shady or dark wet places.
I’m an acellular organism, jelly-like and yellow. I’m known as Physarum Polycephalum but some people call me “the blob.”
Since I'm hidden and mysterious, nobody really knows about me or even thinks about me, which makes me happy. ‘Cause then nobody’s gonna trouble me. Which means I can just get on and do what I’m meant to be doing - eating.
I have this crazy sensation
I’m insatiable. I always have this feeling, this crazy sensation, that I’m hungry. I keep eating and growing, growing and eating. As I ooze along, crawling through the forest floor, I feed off bacteria, fungi, and yeast. It’s really good actually because what I do is a kind of a clean up. I’m a cleaner of the environment. I feed on bacteria, fungi, and yeast. And as I feed, I grow, quickly, very quickly, up to 1 cm every hour.
So, you see, I’m a much-needed part of the ecosystem, working alongside so many others. I help to make things work. I’m super safe actually, non-toxic and not harmful to humans in any way.
Intelligent Slime Mould speaks
Just ‘cause I live under a rock doesn’t mean I don’t know anything
I have a specific intelligence and problem solving abilities that are beneficial to humanity. Recently I was involved in several scientific experiments with robotic arms. As a spongy superconductor, engineers actually used my vein-like web to transport energy through the pulsation of my cells. On top of that, I grow so fast that even if something cuts me, I grow back together and keep on conducting.
Slime Mould was interpreted by
Piero D’Angelo, a fashion and textile designer, who explores how biotechnology can influence fashion. He has worked on integrating slime mould into a robotic arm with engineers and designers from the Royal College of Arts, London.
Piero says to Slime Mould
You are a hidden superstar. We mustn’t underestimate you.
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Piero was invited by Nicola Gale, after she viewed his pioneering bio-fashion show during the London Design Festival. The show featured a garment Piero had created with slime mould that had been treated with a solution of agar and oats so it could eat.
Cover photo edited. Original by Adege.