If you're still huddled in a corner sobbing quietly following yesterday's episode of Game of Thrones, we feel you. But don't worry, we have the perfect distraction to help you deal with your sorrow - the incredible humans over at Transcend Rules have recreated the show's opening credits using slime mould and fungus.
That might sound really gross, but mould actually has surprisingly beautiful and intricate growth patterns, and in close-up, its spawning is the perfect match for the landscape and castles of Westeros and Essos (if you squint).
By the time it gets to what would be Winterfell, you forget you're even looking at slimy organisms. Check it out for yourself in the "Game of Moulds":
Seriously, isn't that just the most delightful thing you've seen since you last looked upon Hodor's delightful, innocent face?
Okay but back to the science - what's going on in this video?
The Game of Thrones theme song was actually just overlaid on top of footage shot back in 2010 by Vimeo user Larionstev Nick.
That video's been circulating on Reddit for quite a while, but this week, genius users ButteredToads and justsomething realised that it actually fit in perfectly with the opening of everyone's favourite fantasy show.
According to the original macro footage, the fungus and slime mould you're seeing here is a mix of:
- Aspergillus fumigatus
- Botrytis sp.
- Mucor sp.
- Trichoderma sp.
- Cladosporium sp.
This sped-up time-lapse was captured on a Nikon D70s, and what you're watching is the usual slow growth of different fungal and slime mould species as they expand and grow around a petri dish.
If that growth looks strangely coordinated, that's because it might be. It turns out that slime moulds are surprisingly coordinated organisms.
The term 'slime mould' actually refers to an ancient group of single-celled organisms, which are characterised by their slimy-ness, and are capable of working together to form a single, moving body.
You can see the original footage in all its glory below:
It's almost enough to make us forget...