4494 Marimo

This minor planet is named after a species of algae, which is known for one of its distinctive growth forms. In certain areas of the world, this species of algae can be found to grow in the shape of a sphere, with algal filaments radiating outward, in some cases growing as large as 20-30 centimeters. This growth form is inefficient for photosynthesis, as the minimally low surface-to-volume ratio means that most of the chloroplasts do not receive sunlight, but they are able to be pushed and spun by the tides.

They were named by botanist Takiya Kawakami, in reference to a toy bouncy ball. They are beloved in Japanese culture.

The symbol of this minor planet is simple and iconographic: a small circle underneath a water wave.

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