Owning a home can involve all kinds of unexpected and weird tasks and problems. In some cases, apparently, that means discovering an entirely new species growing on the outside of your house.
“North Eastern United States. This looks like some alien species I’ve never seen before. There are a couple I noticed growing near my window sill. Thank you for the help,” they wrote.
The alien species in question nearly defies description. It is red, it is oozing some sort of liquid, and it is pretty upsetting to look at.
Luckily, several plant-loving Redditors were quick to jump in with knowledge about what category this life-form belongs in.
“Slime mold species,” wrote one. “Slime molds are strange and diverse. Not a fungus, plant, animal, or bacteria.. they are in the Kingdom Protista.”
“You know, I’m a horticulturalist. And I love mycology and entomology too; I’m not easily creeped out. But slime molds? HATE. I HATE them with a deep, mammalian paranoia. I want to like them, but I can’t. My lower-brain forbids it,” another commenter wrote.
The specific type of slime mold, according to a few other commenters, is Stemonitis, which the Encyclopedia Britannica somewhat controversially describes as having “some of the most beautiful fruiting bodies among the myxomycetes.”
The good news for this homeowner is that despite how scary it looks, slime molds are not harmful. “Despite their threatening appearance, slime molds are not infectious and will not result in anything more than temporary cosmetic damage. Slime molds will not harm humans, pets, or livestock,” one Purdue University professor of plant pathology wrote.
Meanwhile, the Redditors of the r/whatsthisplant subreddit had some helpful advice for this Stemonitis-owning homeowner.
“You need Men in Black,” wrote one.
“Get a jar and some wood and you can have it as a pet,” wrote another.
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