|“|| Ms. Baxter: What is it?!|
Zack: We don't know! It's not quite a liquid and not quite a solid.
|“||A sentient blob? That’s impossible. You’d need to mix diamino-hexane with pistachio tree fertiliser from the future... like the one we just brought... Oh.||”|
While Zack was helping Milo in a demonstration in science class, he misheard and realized too late that he was handling a solution of diaminohexane, which makes him sneeze. When he sneezed, he bumped the beaker that he had just pour the diaminohexane into and a small amount of the mixture fell onto the floor. The disinterested, unmotivated substitute teacher Ms. Baxter told them to pour some chemical absorbent on it. Milo went to fetch it from the closet, but he was distracted by the time travellers trying to hide in there; he accidentally picked up the pistachio tree fertilizer they had brought from the future instead. Upon returning, he dumped the fertilizer on the spill and it began to bubble and grow.
The resultant sentient blob soon was large enough to cover most of the floor of the science class and began throwing and tormenting all within the room. In the confusion, the time travellers tried to make a break for it, but the blob caught Dakota's leg as he reached the door. Eventually Milo had the idea of cooling the blob down with fire extinguishers until it fully transitioned into a solid state. As he enacted his plan, he shut the door, severing the blob section that had Dakota's leg. In his recoil, the severed section was flung onto an air vent, through which it escaped. Milo's plan proved effective as fire extinguishers very quickly froze the blob. Milo's friends Zack and Melissa quickly joined him and together made short work of it.
Meanwhile, in his attempts to save a pistachio plant outside, Cavendish accidentally stepped on it after shooing Diogee away before peeing on it. The time travellers then left, having failed their mission. The surviving section of the sentient blob exited the air vents nearby and crossed the yard to the crushed plant. It was then absorbed by the ground around it and the tree seemed to be miraculously healed, though it then became a different colour and a section of it was glowing. ("The Substitute")
The blob has the appearance of a transparent light green, very viscous fluid and is at least as big as a car. It appeared to have a smooth surface and could manipulate its shape into many appendages of various size that often seemed to be roughly based off hands or tentacles (pseudopods).
It was created by mixing diaminohexane with pistachio tree fertilizer from the future, even though the diaminohexane had presumably at least started becoming part of a polymer as adding it was the last step in the experiment. The diaminohexane may have acted more as a catalyst, as only a large drop of the final mixture fell onto the ground which can't have contained more than a hundredth of a gram of diaminohexane, if Zack got the measurement right. This is not discounting the fraction that had already reacted, though this might not have stopped the fertilizer reacting with that fraction. Though there wasn't much fertilizer either, with Milo easily able to carry around the tin. If mass was conserved, this would mean that the Sentient Blob would have a very low density. Obviously, shortly after the reaction occurred the blob gained a level of sentience.
It's unknown if the amount of the reactants were factors in its size or if it could change its size at will, though its ability to change its volume is doubtful as the blob seemed to stay roughly the same size after its initial growth period. The severed blob section also maintained its size after being severed. If it had a low density it must also have a very large strength to weight ratio as it easily picks up many humans during the encounter, each potentially being ten times as heavy as the entire blob.
The blob appears to be homogeneous in its structure, with no complex organs or specialized sections of its body, apart from its pseudopods. This model would indicate that every part of its body would take some part in thinking. This is supported by the severed section, which was originally being used as a pseudopod, being able to think independently from the main body.
It is unknown how the blob senses its environment. It would most likely be able to sense through touch, but at several moments it takes actions that indicate it accurately knows the location of objects and people it has never touched. It holds no complex organs that could be dedicated to sensory activity. Seeing, through the detection of light, is unlikely to be its primary sense as it is transparent and any photosensitive chemicals would be affected by light from every direction, only allowing the general level of light in the room to be detected. Even if it could detect an invisible wavelength of light that its body was opaque to, objects would still be ill-defined as the surface would still accept light from half the room, though it would be able to make out some details if it surrounded an object. It therefore has little chance of depicting a mobile phone screen due to its intricate details and the fact that it would mostly use only visible light.
It might be able to detect sound by the vibration across its surface, and its size might allow it to know the position of a sound's source, but there are many instances when it attacks someone who is making relatively no noise and it clearly knows where Ms. Baxter is, even though she is making no distinguishable noise. It may use a form of active echolocation at a frequency above human hearing. Its surface may be able to detect chemicals in a similar fashion to smell. If it was sensitive enough it would be able to determine the location of humans using this method. Another possible sense could be a form of electro-location, the ability to detect electric fields produced by muscle or nerve use (A sense that platypuses use extensively when hunting). A version where the life-form combines this with a strong, internally produced electric field can be used to differentiate many substances by their electric conductivity, though this would be harder to understand with such a complex body shape. Both smell and electro-location would allow the blob to differentiate humans from their surrounding easily, which the sentient blob exhibited when it quickly retrieved Dakota and Cavendish from a dark, unexplored, cluttered closet.
Mort showed that brute force over a relatively large surface area was ineffective at damaging it, proof of its strength, but Milo was easily able to slice a section off when he shut the door quickly. The quick recovery of the severed section and its ability to seep though a grate indicate that it should prove no trouble for a severed section to recombine with the rest of the body. Milo's strategy of freezing it proved very effective as thick sections of the blob completely freeze very quickly under the spray of a fire extinguisher. This outcome would be expected for an object of exceptionally low density, as a low heat capacity would mean it was very susceptible to temperature change. The texture of the frozen blob looks much more jagged than the room temperature blob. The small flat sections that make up its surface might indicate a macro cell like structure. Though the texture is much more likely to be fracture lines due to the rapid contraction of the blob's substance, unable to maintain its original shape. This is supported by the final assault where the frozen smooth blob can be seen for a moment before it completely freezes through. Then it formed many fracture lines across which it then breaks. It appears that the cold also kills the blob, irreversibly altering the chemical organization that allows it to achieve large-scale, organized movement and sentience.
A section of the sentient blob was able to seep into the ground around a mortally injured pistachio tree. It was then able to enter the tree and facilitate rapid healing, as the tree very quickly regained its normal structure and was able to grow new leaves in seconds. It also somehow transferred its sentience or allowed the tree to develop its own. It also drastically altered how the tree would grow as it eventually developed into a new humanoid species, similarly capable of thought. Its ability to heal and maintain and maybe improve a pistachio tree might be due to it being nearly entirely made up of futuristic pistachio tree fertilizer, though the mixture had obviously been chemically altered to some degree.
It first grew to the point that it could reach any position in the science classroom, though its growth may not have been voluntary. It then waved in front of Ms. Baxter, seeming to check if she could see or was alert to the situation. It is unknown if it knew of her status as the teacher of the class.
Overall, it appeared to act aggressively towards most humans it encountered. Initially, it physically threw people around, as it did with Chad and Milo and later with Dakota and Cavendish. It also seemed to want to grab everyone it could, picking up or holding onto many in the classroom. In the case of Ms. Baxter and Zack, it was unclear what it wanted to achieve with this. It seemed to toy a bit with Mort and the other student that attempted to physically combat it. When dealing with the other student, it took the broom he was using and used it against him in a similar fashion, showing that it could utilize tools. It also wound the pencil sharpener that Joni's hair was caught in and also was seen using a mobile phone. It isn't shown if it was able to achieve anything with the phone or if it was just trying to annoy Amanda.
As a newly created entity, the extent of its knowledge is unclear. By its first act of waving a hand like appendage in front of Ms. Baxter, it seems to know something about human physiology, culture, or psychology. If it has little knowledge of humans, its actions may be indicative of it wanting to learn about them and its environment. Its use of tools and eventually a cell phone seem to indicate rapid learning ability if it had no prior knowledge, though it is more likely it had the skills to operate such tools from the start. This is supported by the fact that it had no opportunity to observe and learn how to use a mobile phone.
Although it could reach the whole room, it seemed to show that it only had enough attention to initiate complex acts in one region at a time, though this may also have been due to physical or sensory inability, or due to its preference.
Severed sections of the sentient blob could think independently from the body, though it is unverified if the severed section would have a lower thought capacity or different personality. A homogeneous structure would lean towards the conclusion that a smaller section of the blob would have a lower thought capacity and no change in behaviour beyond the lessened ability to think and its new situation as a smaller blob. The severed section that was attacking Dakota didn't reengage the time travellers after it was severed, which may be due to a sense of self-preservation, instincts, or goal change given a new situation.
The severed section eventually made its way to a dying pistachio tree, where it gave up its mobile form to strengthen the tree. As it is primarily made up of a mixture engineered to help pistachio trees grow, its actions might have been controlled by its intended primary purpose, though it also might have sought a less vulnerable form to ensure survival. Whether through its own intentions or not, the tree eventually formed a level of sentience that was akin to a human. It developed a personality and the ability to think strategically, to the point where it could form and implement complex personal goals, such as taking over the world and comprehending the use of time travel.
Its development into an intelligence that wants to take over the world was obviously not the outcome expected from applying fertilizer to a pistachio tree. Although the creation of sentient blobs was well known to the time travellers that brought the fertilizer, it obviously wasn't expected for the fertilizer to turn into one before they applied it to the tree. Although it had been changed, the fertilizer did make it to the pistachio tree as intended. Therefore, its different form, maybe with the input violent nature of it being severed from its original blob, somehow allowed it to grow uncontrollably and to have violent ambitions against humans.
- It part of King Pistachion Link as it past self