Marvels of evolution and adaptation, plants and fungi have developed myriad methods of spreading their seeds or spores. Some of these dispersal events happen with blinding speed, and researchers are exploring these dramatic behaviors in the world's fastest plants and fungi using ultra-high speed video cameras. Feast your eyes on our smorgasbord of fast-moving, spore-shooting, seed-spreading organisms. Blob begets smaller blob -- meet Sphaerobolus stellatus This is the Sphaerobolus stellatus, commonly known as the "cannonball fungus" or "sphere thrower" because of its exceptional ability to shoot its tiny spore ball from a balloon-like "expulsion sack." The fungus grows on decaying wood to a width of about 2.5 mm, and starts out looking like an innocuous white sphere, before it cracks open, revealing its brownish-black spore ball, which can travel up to 18 feet away and 14 feet in the air.
__Video taken at 27,000 frames per second by Nicholas...
Pimple shooter -- meet Ascobolus immersus
__Videos taken at 1,000,000 frames per second by Nicholas Money and Mark Fischer.__PLoS Onedoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003237Blob on a stick -- meet Pilobolus kleinii
__Videos recorded by Nicholas Money and Mark Fischer at 50,000 frames per second.__PLoS Onedoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003237Snappy stamen -- meet Cornus canadensisCornus canadensis
__Video recorded by Joan Edwards at 10,000 frames per second.__Naturedoi:10.1038/435164aThe James Dean of fast plants -- meet Morus abla
__Video recorded by Phillip Taylor at 40,000 frames per second.__Sex. plant reprod.doi:10.1007/s00497-005-0018-9

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