Botanical world has a collection of (almost) all forms of plantation that exist on earth. From carnivorous plants to parasites, there is a huge treasure in the field of botany. But species of mushroom have their own world. All mushrooms are basically fungus and are found in several shapes and colors with their diverse set of survival tactics. Out of all these species, some mushrooms have attracted special attention either for their weird appearance or properties. Five of the most fascinating species are listed here for you.
Anemone stinkhorn (Aseroe rubra)
The time lapse in the above video seems to show a carnivorous, evil alien creature. However, it’s common, widespread and one of the creepiest basidiomycete fungus. It bust out from an egg. The mushroom develops 5-10 red-colored tentacles as it grows up. These tentacles are covered with sticky, reeking gleba that attacks flies.
Brain-Shaped Gyromitra esculenta
It is believed that Gyromitra esculenta is a slow poison as consistent consumption can lead to toxic buildup in the body. This one look so identical to human grey matter that this fungus, mostly found in Europe and North America, is commonly called brain-fungus. It appears to be creepy, but it has a honeycomb appearance (like all edible mushroom species) and is a popular and expensive delicacy. However, eating raw mushroom or poorly cooked ones can prove to be poisonous for body.
Octopus Stinnkhorn (Clathrus archeri)
This one will remind you of creatures from the film “Tremors”. Also known as devil’s fingers, this mushroom grows out of egg-like formation. In the time-lapse it can be seen hatching with sprouting of 4-8 tentacles. It emits foul smell to attract insects. While the mushroom isn’t edible, in its egg-like formation it is considered to be a delicacy in some countries.
Devil’s Tooth (Hydnellum peckii)
While it is named Devil Tooth or Bleeding Tooth, its survival strategy is based on symbiotic relationship with pine trees. Both exchange minerals and sugars and grow in harmony. What makes it special is its strange appearance. The surface is covered with juicy-looking red jam exuded by the mushroom. The function of this mysterious form is not known, but scientists confirm presence of a chemical ‘atromentin’ that contains anticoagulant properties.
Cordyceps appears to inspiration behind the scene from one of the most popular science-fiction films “Alien” series in which a creature is implantation inside human host and later a creepy alien broke out from the abdomen, splashing blood all over. Cordyceps does same to insects. It throws spores on insects to infect them. The mushroom parts grow inside the body using insect’s internal organs for food. Once consumed, the mushroom breaks out of host’s body by sending long, spore-producing spikes from any opening it finds. The fungus can intoxicate ants to climb high on trees and cling to them forever. It does so by releasing a sort of chemical.