Part of what makes the world of fungi so endearing to experts, enthusiasts and casual fans alike is appreciating how nature’s own hands shape some of the most unique organisms most have ever seen. Experts and passersby alike admire the often peculiar and always memorable forms of fungi that can be found both in some of the most obscure areas of the world and in regions closer to your own backyard. From puff balls to cages and florescent green domes to jelly-filled candies, fungi often universally highlights the small beauties that can arise when nature is allowed to prosper – also reminding us that they have been here far longer than humans have or ever will.
Even from a purely outsider perspective, its difficult to not stare in wonderment at the famous mycena chlorophos – a glow-in-the-dark mushroom typically found in parts of Asia, including Japan, Polynesia, Java, as well as in Sri Lanka, Australia and Brazil.
It is brightest when the temperature reaches about 81°F, typically lasting a day once the cap has fully formed. So enthused have people been by its other mystic features that host and internet personality Josh Garcia created a documentary on it earlier this year.
Falling somewhere between a cage and an exquisite biscuit sold at a French cafe, the latticed stinkhorn is also noted for its namesake distinct smell – evidently potent enough to drive away anyone willing to eat it. They are often found in leaf litter, garden soil, grassy areas or in mulches.
Photo Credit: Juaninda (Juan Sevilla)
Finally, the Bleeding Tooth mushroom (also known as Hydnellum peckii) looks good enough to bite into – and although you can (as it hasn’t been known to be poisonous,) you probably shouldn’t due to its highly bitter taste. They are perhaps more commonly found that the other mushrooms, located variously in North America, Korea, Iran and parts of Europe.
This is, of course, only scratching the surface; there are many more amazing species of mushroom out there. For an even larger list with some pretty breathtaking pictures, look no further than Treehugger.com’s list of the 13 most bizarre mushrooms.