A human-shaped mushroom species has been discovered on the side of a road in Norfolk, England.
Jonathan Revett, a mycology hobbyist for over 40 years and owner of fenfungi.com, found the mushroom and sent a specimen in for analysis after noticing its unique humanoid shape. Naturally seeming to possess “human head and arms”, the fragile stalk can split in two, creating its “legs” – which has caused some to compare the mushroom to a fisherman, or a “hat villain”, wearing a poncho.
They do look like little mushroom men. It’s really strange how their shape makes them look like they have a head and arms. That’s what drew my attention to them.”
The species has been named Geastrum britannicum, a new type of Earthstar mushroom; which means that locomotion isn’t actually out of the question. The fruit bodies of several Earthstar species are known to dry out and curl around the ‘shroom’s delicate spore sac. In this state, the fungus will detach from the ground and roll off toward new, moister pastures, like tumbleweeds. One such species, Sphaerobolus stellatus, is commonly referred to as the “shotgun” or “cannonball” fungus, as it’s capable of throwing black spore-globs on painted surfaces and ruining homes.
On the other hand, since Mr Revett’s original find, three more specimens have been collected in Norfolk and the fungus has also been found in Hampshire and the Welsh Borders.
Carl Chapman, of Norfolk-based Wildlife Tours and Education said,
This is a riveting stuff. This is not just a new species for Norfolk – this is a new species for the world. They were doing the work and requested some samples of this fungus and found the DNA was different.”
But the most interesting part is that this tumbling humanoid fungus, is both inedible and highly poisonous.
So stay away, guys! There’s no sense getting killed by a fungus!
via The Daily Mail