The Largest Plant Cell Ever?
One wouldn't think that algae would be very interesting. We've all seen the stuff wherever there is water. But researchers have recently discovered an algae that would make a good star in a horror movie. The algae known as Caulerpa taxifolia was first seen in 1984 off the coast of Monaco. It covered only about a square yard of sea bottom, but it covered it completely, smothering all other plants. Only six years later, it had reached French waters. Four years after that, it had reached Spanish waters. It can grow on mud, rock or sand, and wherever it invades, it chokes out all other plants. A square yard of the algae can contain 700 feet of "stems" and 500 fronds!
Ordinary members of this algae species grow only about ten inches high. But this algae is huge and can have a "stem" that is nine feet long, with 200 fronds dangling from it. Moreover, each complete plant is a single cell. This could be the largest plant cell ever! Cutting it won't control it, because even a tiny bit of it will grow into a new plant. Researchers think that the original parent developed in an aquarium because all of these algae found so far turn out to be male. If true, this algae could become a classic example of how man has ignorantly modified the balance of God's well-designed creation to his own harm as well as to the harm of other creatures. That balanced inter-relationship between creatures is a witness to God's wise design.