September 03, 2019
We’ve all been there; you open something you are looking forward to eating, only to discover a furry patch of mold. It’s certainly unappetizing, but why is it fuzzy?
Just like a dandelion becomes covered in white fluff as it is preparing to spread its seeds using the wind, mold, which is usually invisible, becomes fuzzy when it is preparing to spread its’ spores. The spores of mold are what we can see, they are genetic copies of the mold, and are created in huge numbers when it is time for the mold to reproduce. To ensure these spores travel a long way before settling on a surface, the spores are light and fluffy, meaning they are light and catch the wind easily, spreading their genes far and wide.
While some molds are used in the food industry, such as in cheese making, seeing a fuzzy patch of mold spores on your leftovers is a sign they have been there too long. Although most mold spores are not harmful to humans, some can cause allergic reactions, or make you sick, so cutting the mold off and eating the rest is not the wisest choice. Instead you are better off marveling at the complexity of nature, and the molds reproductive strategy, and then disposing of the offending item appropriately.
Source: Live Science
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