If you had to guess what the fastest moving organism on the planet is, it’s probable that lions, tigers or bears (oh my) rank pretty high on the list, right? Indeed, most people would probably say that the cheetah is the fastest land animal. When they think “fast,” most people don’t think “fungus.” As odd as it sounds, it’s true. A type of fungus called Pilobolus crystallinus (otherwise known as the ‘Hat Thrower ‘or the ‘Dung Cannon fungi’) earns the title of one of the fastest known things on our planet.
Amazingly, this organism can reach speeds exceeding those of an Olympic gold medalist. Even more impressive is how quickly it can accelerate. Moving 0 – 20km/h in 2 millionths of a second, It can literally go from zero to one hundred in the blink of an eye (at its fastest, it moves 300 kilometers per hour, according to the video). Or, to put it another way, this speed is equivalent to a human being moving at 100 times the speed of sound.
However, this isn’t any organism you’d want to come in close contact with, as it’s well known that the natural habitat of the Dung Cannon fungu happens to be anywhere filled with sweet feces.
The crappy cycle repeats when the fungi’s spores are picked up, and carried by, the wind. Once making it back onto the ground, they intermix with vegetation, and are ultimately consumed by other animals and organisms. It goes without saying that what goes in must come out. They’ve then come full circle.