Astronomers have gotten creative in trying to trace the elusive cosmic web, the large-scale backbone of the cosmos. Researchers turned to slime mold, a single-cell organism found on Earth, to help them build a map of the filaments in the local universe (within 500 million light-years from Earth) and find the gas within them. The researchers designed a computer algorithm inspired by the organism's behavior and applied it to data containing the positions of 37,000 galaxies ("food" for the slime mold) mapped by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The algorithm produced a three-dimensional map of the underlying cosmic web's intricate filamentary network, the purple structure in the image. The three sets of inset boxes show some of those individual galaxies that were "fed" to the slime mold and the filamentary structure connecting them. The galaxies are represented by the yellow dots in three of the inset images. Next to each galaxy snapshot is an image of the galaxies with the cosmic web's connecting strands (purple) superimposed on them.