I have a friend who loves mushrooms. Not just stir-fried or in soup. He’s an out-and-out mushroom fancier. He travels far and wide just to hunt mushrooms. Whatever he calls himself (a mycologist or a shroomer), I always thought his fascination was a little strange. ‘Til I realized what amazing mushrooms you could come across in your travels. Did you know some mushrooms are bioluminescent (above)? They quite literally glow in the dark.
I mean, really, who knew? There are 65 known species of luminescent mushrooms, and you can find them in places like undisturbed rainforest in southern Brazil. They glow 24 hours a day, but are best viewed at night. Sounds like it would make a great sightseeing tour.
The stunningly photogenic Amanita Muscaria, pictured above, looks like something straight out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but it’s more than just a pretty toadstool. It’s poisonous, and its hallucinogenic properties make it of religious importance to the peoples of Siberia. You don’t have to go all the way there to see it though; it’s native to most temperate areas of the northern hemisphere.
On that note, extraordinary fungi are everywhere. This amazing looking stump fungus was found in South Carolina, and the Turkey Tail below is also from North America.
Next time you’re walking through a forest, keep your eyes peeled. You could see a mushroom that looks like a piece of fried chicken. Just remember, it isn’t. RM