What is this?
A. The escape response of the smallest known cephalopod
B. A recently auctioned photo series by Man Ray
C. A fungus launching its high-speed spore
D. Latex squirting from an opium poppy pod
E. A medical nanodevice deploying into the bloodstream
Answer below the fold. . .
Well, this reminds me of the primitive, strangely organic black-and-white F/X from Georges Meliers' classic 1902 film La Voyage Dans La Lune, in which humanity's first spacecraft blasts off, only to smack the hapless Man in the Moon in the eye!
You don't agree? Well, it is a blastoff - in fact, it's the fastest launch known in nature: a Pilobolus kleinii spore exploding out of its parent fungus.
From Small Things Considered:
Spores are launched at maximum speeds of 25 meters per secondâremarkable for a microscopic cell. This corresponds to accelerations of 180,000 g, no less! In terms of acceleration, these are the fastest flights in nature.
How does a fungus achieve this kind of propulsive power? It's osmotic, apparently: "The long flights of spores do not result from unusually high pressure but from the explosive way the pressure drop is harnessed for spore propulsion. There appear to be some similarities to the expulsion of ink droplets through nozzles on inkjet printers."
Want more? Here's the most over-the-top use of opera in fungal biology ever: a film of Pilobolus kleinii by researcher Nik Money. Enjoy.
Yafetto L, Carroll L, Cui Y, Davis DJ, Fischer MWF, et al. 2008 The Fastest Flights in Nature: High-Speed Spore Discharge Mechanisms among Fungi. PLoS ONE 3(9).
It's gotta be C.
Got this one right, but then I've long been a fan of Pilobolus, both the fungus and the dance troupe.
I had already seen this video, but the way you posted the still, it looks a lot like a section of a zoetrope.
Finally got one right! These posts are great. More things in heaven and earth, horatio...
I finally guessed one right! But then, with my damp basement, I had better have an affinity for fungi . . . .
I knew this one would be easier - but I didn't think you'd all get it right! good job, y'all.
Yes! Comrade PhysioProf was right!!! w00t!!!
Should be tagged NSFW for gratuitous fungal reproduction...
I did guess it correctly though.