Spore Discharge: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet!


One of the highest rates of acceleration in the world is achieved during the ejection of spores by the fungi pilobolus. The spores are microscopic and their surface area to volume ratio leads them to experience immense drag when soaring through the air. To compensate for this drag, the stalk of the fungus builds tremendous osmotic pressure which when released, propels the spores with greater acceleration than a bullet. The spores experience 25,000 g., which is about 10,000 times the acceleration experienced by an astronaut during takeoff!

Check out this cool YouTube video to see a time lapse, high-speed video of spore discharge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrKJAojmB1Y