Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Interstellar travel by fungus

With enough mushroom compost, the stars could be ours.
  (+15, -2)(+15, -2)
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If all the spores from a single puffball survived for two generations, the result would be a mass of fungus eight times Earth's volume. Since the largest known puffball is two metres in diameter, this means that the minimum increase in size over two years must be about seventy sextillion. During that period, an object sitting on top of the fungus would have moved a mere six thousand kilometres or so. However, project this forward another two years and it would have travelled a third of a light year. I needn't project it any more - clearly at least the whole Galaxy would be easily within our reach within six years. However, this is subjective to the surface of the fungus because clearly they would not grow faster than light, and the velocity of the growth is such that contraction in the direction of movement would soon occur.

So all we really need is enough mushroom compost and a means of hollowing out the sphere as time goes by in order to prevent it from becoming a black hole.

nineteenthly, Sep 13 2011

"Star-travelling" via psilocybin. http://books.google...v=onepage&q&f=false
A haphazard link, but the pertinent data is in there somewhere... [daseva, Sep 15 2011]

Can Mushrooms Be From Outer Space? http://otherworldmy...be-from-outer-space
The fungi group of organisms forms a whole different kingdom of life very different from the other kingdoms on the planet... [Ander, Sep 19 2011]

[link]






       I had to bun this for the title alone!!!!
xandram, Sep 13 2011
  

       //So all we really need is enough mushroom compost// That would be quite a lot of compost. I foresee conservation of mass issues.
DIYMatt, Sep 13 2011
  

       I foresee mass torts.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2011
  

       You'd need a hell of a lot of butter to cook it in as well.
pocmloc, Sep 13 2011
  

       beware, you're gonna piss off a whole lotta pixies.
po, Sep 13 2011
  

       There are other ways to reach far out places using fungi...
RayfordSteele, Sep 13 2011
  

       Masterful halfbaking [19thly]! With this idea and the butterfly one you are becoming a chronic master-baker.   

       On a more serious note, I too was thinking about a form of interstellar space travel by fungi as well, and in a form you might appreciate. Well, I was acknowledging the fact that I'm sure to die one day, and was feeling a little apprehensive about it, so I decided that not enough was being done to ensure my future spontaneous recurrence. I thought then that if the theory of evolution was true in its grandest metanarrative, that complex life arises from simple life, that some simple life should be spread throughout the galaxy and beyond to increase the likelihood that complex life, but more specifically my exact self, will reoccur at some point again. Lichens or something hearty like that should do the trick.
rcarty, Sep 13 2011
  

       // other ways to reach far out places using fungi //   

       Yes, it's called "Spaced-Out Travel". We suggest that [bungston] is ideally experienced and qualified for the test-pilot role.
8th of 7, Sep 13 2011
  

       seconded...
po, Sep 13 2011
  

       Ad astra per boleto. [+]
mouseposture, Sep 13 2011
  

       With these here 'ad astra' turns of phrase; am I wrong in thinking that the syntax is messed up by not putting the 'per' before the'ad'?
Just wondering.
  

       I think I like the train of thought that must have went into this notion, and I'm fond of saying, "There was no mould to break when they made me... they barely had fungus then" so y'know that's a plus.   

       in math anything is possible, which is why I'm so glad I live here in reality.
WcW, Sep 14 2011
  

       Sit down, [WcW]; we're sorry but you're about to hear some really, really bad news ...
8th of 7, Sep 14 2011
  

       Math just proved that my halfbaked motor-engine is impossible because more energy is required for electrolysis than it produces.
rcarty, Sep 14 2011
  

       Not an actual idea. [-]
Voice, Sep 15 2011
  

       Voice, please explain yourself. This *is* an actual idea. It is an idea to travel the universe via the exponential growth of a fungus. Whether or not it is viable rests in the annotations and future scientific discovery.   

       Terrence McKenna would approve (linky).
daseva, Sep 15 2011
  

       Excellent idea.... hovering somewhere between genius and moronic ie perfection for me! I'm awarding it the extra croissant only I get to deploy. (+ +)
xenzag, Sep 15 2011
  

       As [19th]ly points out, the mass at the center would collapse -- but probably before it reached black-hole magnitude. Instead, you might get a star. Making this a Dyson sphere. But with a difference: the inhabitants can explore the Universe without ever leaving home, because home eventually encompasses the Universe.
mouseposture, Sep 15 2011
  

       Hi, nice to see you're all still here - po, 2 fries, swim, 8th, Icarus, Hippo, Rayford, bungston. I have been busy teaching linguistics and falling in love, occasionally thinking about 'c' whilst fiddling with towels in my bathroom and playing with dogs. Nice to be back.
weedy, Sep 15 2011
  

       but there isn't much to explore at that point: fungus ends up being everything
WcW, Sep 15 2011
  

       Well, but that fungus will have evolved quite a bit, by then, what with the time dilation. Perhaps it'll be sentient. The whole (former) universe might be recreated as virtual reality within a giant fungoid brain. Or perhaps not.
mouseposture, Sep 16 2011
  

       'c' = ? Children?
RayfordSteele, Sep 16 2011
  

       My money is on 'cannabis' based on username and towels ie. the talking towel that asks children to smoke weed. Could be croissant.
rcarty, Sep 16 2011
  

       I hope you're not talking about me. 'c' refers to the speed of light and the sort of philosophical / scientific musings that one has whilst fiddling about with domestic tasks. 'Weedy' has nothing to do with cannabis - I'm a cider man. Also, 'the talking towel'? The mind boggles.
weedy, Sep 16 2011
  

       //talking towels//   

       I usually only let mine go until they get to the standing-up phase before I wash them. When they start developing language, culture, and religion I send them down the chute before they cast off their human oppressors. Considering the idea title though, I might just see what happens...
RayfordSteele, Sep 16 2011
  

       To mouldly go where no man has gone before...
goff, Sep 16 2011
  

       Does this same notion work with sperm? Or are we only talking asexual reproduction and choosing to ignore the limit imposed by the quantity of manure in the universe (as opposed to the quantity of eggs and wombs)?
zen_tom, Sep 16 2011
  

       // the limit imposed by the quantity of manure in the universe //   

       There is no such "limit". If you have any doubts, subscribe to cable TV.
8th of 7, Sep 16 2011
  

       One small step for man, one giant lepiota for mankind.
theleopard, Sep 16 2011
  

       The talking towel is a character from South Park. I think based on the information you provided marijuana was a good guess. Towels and dogs?
rcarty, Sep 16 2011
  

       Presumably, after it gets to interstellar proportions, their won't be mushroom in the universe for anything else?
goff, Sep 19 2011
  

       <SMACK>
8th of 7, Sep 19 2011
  

       ha! shame goff has no email... I'd love email... actually from any of you...
po, Sep 19 2011
  

       That was in spore taste.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 19 2011
  

       Has me green around the gills..
daseva, Sep 19 2011
  

       He's a fun guy, that's for sure.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 19 2011
  

       // I'd love email... actually from any of you.//   

       Welcome to the new, darker days of winter.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 19 2011
  

       <Vader>   

       "If you only knew the power of the Dark Side ..."   

       </Vader>
8th of 7, Sep 19 2011
  
      
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