Fastest-accelerating organism
Ascobolus immersus
1,800,000 m/sec-2 metre(s) per second squared
Not Applicable ()

The world's fastest-accelerating organism is the fungus Ascobolus immersus found in all continents except Antarctica. It grows on animal dung, where it bundles spores together like a cannonball, then puts the bundles at the tip of a long stalk. The fungus pumps the stalk with fluid to gradually pressurize it. When the fluid reaches its peak pressure, or the fungus is touched or bumped, the cannonball spores shoot free. This explosion causes the sporangiophore to "throw" its sporangium with a maximum acceleration of 1.8 million m/sec-2, or over 180,000 g, approximately 60,000 times the force experienced by astronauts on board the Space Shuttle when travelling through Earth's atmosphere. The findings were reported in the journal PLoS ONE in September 2008.

The sporangium can travel up to 30 cm (1 ft) away from the sporangiophore that launched it, and increases the chance that it will attach to vegetation that will be eaten by an animal through whose gut the sporangium will travel without being digested and then be excreted in its dung, whereupon the spores will be released and germinate in the dung.