Holy Moldy Migration! There is a Mold in Michigan that Moves
They say you should never stop learning. Today I learned that there is actually a type of mold that can travel from place to place.
You have to love social media -- whenever one person has a question about something, another person will have an answer.
Recently one of my friends on Facebook posted the following...
While she was out walking and looking for morel mushrooms, she happened to find some weird looking growth that wasn't there the previous day. So she asked if anyone knew what it was...and now we have an answer! It's a mold that can actually travel and move!
We Have Mold in Michigan that Can Move?
Yes we do! It's called Dog Vomit Slime Mold (Fuligo septica). It is a Myxomycetes mold and is neither plant nor animal. It is a living mold that moves in the night!
The Laidback Gardener blog describes it this way...
Unlike fungus, dog vomit slime mold moves about like an amoeba, slithering slowly at night so that on any given morning it’s never quite where it was the day before, nor is it in exactly the same shape. The term for this phase is 'plasmodium'.
Here is a time lapse video of the mold moving and engulfing a rock...
And here is another video...
This Moving Mold Inspired a Movie
It was this "moving mold" that inspired the movie "The Blob" back in 1958. In the film, a creepy, unstoppable gel-like blog engulfed an entire town. Here is the trailer for that movie...
Fortunately this Dog Vomit Slime Mold is much smaller. Its mass is usually 2-24" wide.
Is Dog Vomit Slime Mold Dangerous?
This mold can be found worldwide. It grows in forests and old shady and moist areas. It loves decaying plant material like wood mulch or grass clippings. It is normally harmless to people, animals and plants -- but it has been known to rarely trigger hay fever and asthma in some people.
You Can Actually Eat Dog Vomit Slime Mold
With a name like Dog Vomit Slime Mold, I'm not sure why anyone would want to even consider eating this stuff, but you can. At times the mold almost looks like scramble eggs (and is sometimes referred to as "scrambled egg" mold). In parts of Mexico it is collected and scrambled with eggs into a dish they call "caca de luna"
Here is a video on the preparation of the Dog Vomit Slime Mold. (We don't recommend eating this stuff -- just in case you were even considering it!)
How Do I Get Rid of The Dog Vomit Slime Mold?
With the warmer weather, you might find this stuff in your garden or mulch. Here is how to get rid of it...