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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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The creeping garden

2 minutes

Could organless plasmodial slime mould hold secrets about intelligent life?

Neither plant nor animal, shapeshifting plasmodial slime mould was once considered a fungus, which it sometimes resembles. The mould crawls 1/25th of an inch per hour in search of life-sustaining nutrients and, despite lacking a brain, displays basic forms of computation and intelligence. This trailer for the feature-length documentary The Creeping Garden gives a brief glimpse into what has made plasmodial moulds such a point of fascination for scientists, mycologists and artists, including whether the moulds could hold clues to the origins of intelligent life.

Director: Tim Grabham, Jasper Sharp

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau

Essay/History of Science
Against citizen science

It might style itself as a grassroots movement but citizen science is little more than a cheap land-grab by big business

Philip Mirowski