Beware the blob!

It’s been fairly wet for Denver recently. When that happens, I tend to see large mushrooms show up in my lawn (the largest ones here are about 6″ or so across):

Lawn mushrooms

This evening, I needed to mow the lawn before it rained again. I found this beneath one of my rosebushes:

Slime mold

I figured it was some sort of fungus, so I did a websearch for photos I could match it with. I found an Australian page (Adelaide area, which is interesting to me because I have relatives there) that identified it as a slime mould (his spelling).

Given that, I found another page that identifies it as an early stage of Fuligo Septica, commonly known as scrambled egg slime or dog vomit slime mold, and there are some disgusting photos of the later stages. It is, apparently, the only slime mold that can concentrate heavy metals without damage to itself.

What I found slightly unnerving is the statement that “This creeping fungus moves very slowly in amoeboid fashion.”


2 Responses to “Beware the blob!”

  1. Nathan says:

    It seems like that ability to concentrate heavy metals without damage to itself could be useful in industrial cleanup. Heavy metal sequestration?

  2. wheels says:

    Potentially. The study at the link, though, didn’t determine why the molds accumulated zinc, couldn’t account for variations in the concentration, and didn’t cover any metal but zinc.

    There would need to be a lot more investigation into the whys and wherefores before you could make a case for trying to use it that way.