A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source.
The standard for the name “mushroom” is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word “mushroom” is most often applied to those fungi that have a stem, a cap, and gills or pores on the underside of the cap.
“Mushroom” describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word.
Some of these were about colorful and glossy mushrooms, some were about poisonous mushrooms and some were about weird and peculiar mushrooms. In this article is about bizarre mushrooms around the world.
Octopus Shape: Octopus Stinkhorn
This species looks weird. As its name implies, this fungus look likes an octopus. Clathrus archeri, commonly known as OctopusStinkhorn, is endemic to Australia and Tasmania. The young fungus erupts from a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top. In maturity it smells of putrid flesh.
Eat this mushroom while it’s young and avoid eating it when it grows old. This distinct species of mushroom called the gem-studded puffball or devil’s snuff-box (Lycoperdon perlatum) is a moderate sized puffball mushroom with a round fruiting body,tapering to a wide stalk. Gem-studded puffballs are considered to be a choice edible mushroom when young and the gleba is homogeneous and white. They become inedible as they mature: the gleba becomes yellow-tinged, and then finally develops intoa mass of powdery olive-green spores.
Funnel Shape: Jack o’ lantern Mushroom
It’s not the color of this species of mushroom that makes it unique but rather for its bioluminescent properties, it glows in the dark. The jack o’lantern mushroom (Omphalotus olearius) is an orange to yellow gill mushroom that to an untrained eye appears similar to some chanterelles, and is most notable for its bioluminscent properties. The funnel-shaped jack o’lantern mushroom is poisonous.
The Sea Anemone fungus
Aseroë rubra, commonly known as the Anemone Stinkhorn or Sea Anemone fungus, is a widespread Australian fungus. Just like the octopus stinkhorn it is recognizable for its foul odour of carrion and its unique anemone shape. Found in gardens on mulch and in grassy areas, it resembles a red star-shaped structure covered in brownish slime on a white stalk. It attracts flies, which spread its spores.
Fly Amanita (Amanita muscaria) – world’s most famous mushroom
Also known as the fly Agaric or the fly Amanita, the Amanita muscaria is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungi, which is one of many in the genus Amanita. There are several subspecies, and each of them has a different cap color. These include the yellow-range flavivolata guessowii, formosa, the pink persicina, and the brown regalis (although it is now considered a separate species).
Fly Agaric’s are one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. They have been featured in children’s books, films, garden ornaments, greeting cards, and computer games. This toadstool is associated with the famous book turned movie, Alice in Wonderland; the mushroom in Super Mario Bros., and more. It is also known as the mushroom of flies from due to Albertus Magnus’ work in De vegetabilibus where he stated, “It is called the mushroom of flies, because crushed in milk it kills flies”.
Bioluminescent fungi (Mycena chlorophos)
No, you’re not hallucinating; you really are seeing bright green mushrooms, but if you are partial to the odd magic mushie, these images won’t faze you in the slightest. These neon green mushrooms, or Mycena chlorophos, to use the technical term, emerge during the rainy season in Japanese and Brazilian forests, scattering the floor with glowing spores. The bases of tree trunks, fallen branches, leaf litter and moist soil provide perfect breeding grounds for the mushrooms. Found mostly on Mesameyama island in Ugui, Japan and Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park, Brazil, the appearance of these garish looking fungi is due to bioluminescence, one of the weird but wonderful reactions that happen naturally in many plants and animals.
Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus)
Mutinus caninus, commonly known as the Dog Stinkhorn, is a small thin, phallus-shaped woodland fungus, with a dark tip. It is often found growing in small groups on wood debris, or in leaf litter, during summer and autumn in Europe and eastern North America. It is not generally considered edible, although there are reports of the immature ‘eggs’ being consumed.
Bearded Tooth mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)
This mushroom that looks like noodles or pom-pom are known to a variety of name like Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Hedgehog Mushroom, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus. It is an edible mushroom in the tooth fungus group. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on dead hardwoods, particularly American Beech.
Sky Blue mushroom (Entoloma hochstetteri)
Entoloma hochstetteri is a species of mushroom found in New Zealand and India. The small mushroom is a distinctive all-blue colour, while the gills have a slight reddish tint from the spores. The blue colouring of the fruit body is due to three azulene pigments. Entoloma hochstetteri is not edible, but whether or not it is poisonous is unknown. This species was one of six native fungi featured in a set of fungal stamps issued in New Zealand in 2002. It is also seen on the reverse side of the $50 bank note, issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1990.
The Devil’s Cigar (Chorioactis) – world’s rarest fungi
A star-shaped mushroom, called the Devil’s Cigar (Chorioactis geaster) is one of the world’s rarest fungi. It’s also known as the Texas star. These fungi had been detected only in central Texas, two remote locations in Japan, and most recently in the mountains of Nara. The Devil’s Cigar is a dark brown cigar-shaped capsule that transforms into a tan-coloured star when it splits open to release its spores. It is also one of only a few known fungi that produce a distinct whistle sound when releasing its spores.
The Giant puffball (Calvatia Gigantea)
The giant puffball, Calvatia gigantea, is easily recognized by its size and shape. Typical specimens are about the size of a soccer ball, and more or less round. However, it can be much larger (a 5-foot, 50-pound specimen is on record!), and its shape can be more “blob-ish” than round, especially when it attains enormous sizes. But it is never shaped like an inverted pear, since it lacks the sterile base portion common to many other puffballs.
The Bleeding Tooth fungus (Hydnellum pecki)
Hydnellum peckii is a common, inedible fungus, also known as bleeding tooth fungus, often found beneath conifers. It possesses a funnel-shaped cap, and is best known for “bleeding” a red liquid. This liquid contains a mushroom pigment called atromentin, which has anticoagulant properties similar to heparin. Its normal cap diameter is between 5 and 15 cm (2-6 in).
The Brain mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta)
Gyromitra esculenta, one of several species of fungi known as false morels, is an ascomycete fungus from the genus Gyromitra, widely distributed across Europe and North America. It normally sprouts in sandy soils under coniferous trees in spring and early summer.
The fruiting body, or mushroom, is an irregular brain-shaped cap dark brown in colour which can reach 10 cm high and 15 cm wide, perched on a stout white stipe up to 6 cm (2.4 in) high. Although potentially fatal if eaten raw, Gyromitra esculenta is a popular delicacy in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the upper Great Lakes region of North America.
Although popular in some districts of the eastern Pyrenees, it is prohibited from sale to the public in Spain. It may be sold fresh in Finland, but it must be accompanied by warnings and instructions on correct preparation. It is eaten in omelettes, soups, or sautéed in Finnish cuisine. Although it is still commonly parboiled before preparation, recent evidence suggests that even this procedure may not make the fungus entirely safe, thus raising concerns of risk even when prepared properly.