This shimmering, metallic structure isn’t a new configuration of carbon nanotubes. It’s actually a slime mold, which grows on dead plants. Not only does it look alien, but it has a very alien lifecycle. Individual slime mold cells can merge into one giant cell, up to 30 meters across. (Pics)
There are many types of slime mold, and they come in a variety of lurid colors. You can see several examples below, photographed by Russian researchers. You can see the two forms of slime mold in these pictures – the gooey collective form (the yellow grid/blob) and the more commonly-seen individuated form that looks like a stalk with a small sphere or lozenge on top.
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