What Does Slime Know?

What Slime Knows” is an essay by Lacy M. Johnson, in Orion magazine:

Here in this little patch of mulch in my yard is a creature that begins life as a microscopic amoeba and ends it as a vibrant splotch that produces spores, and for all the time in between, it is a single cell that can grow as large as a bath mat, has no brain, no sense of sight or smell, but can solve mazes, learn patterns, keep time, and pass down the wisdom of generations….

Slime mold might not have evolved much in the past two billion years, but it has learned a few things….

Some of the things that some of the slime molds have learned have resulted in Ig Nobel Prizes—two prizes so far—for the humans who took the trouble and time to notice, and themselves learn about, little bits of what the slime molds could do. The image you see here is from one of the prize-winning scientific reports.