Category:  Nature Photography | Posted: October 12, 2017

The Most Bizarre Mushroom in the World I.M.O!!

The Life of The Stinkhorn

by El-mundo

Fungus & Mushrooms Contest Entry 
Sorry if this is a little long, but please be patient as it is very strange! The aptly named Phallus impudicus, affectionately known in maturity as "The Stinkhorn Mushroom", begins life as what is known as "The Witches Egg", and has been a source of mystery for thousands of years. The bottom right picture is a Witches Egg emerging from the ground, and I spotted when I got the photos on the computer what uncannily resembles a little Goblin character on the right, as if he's guarding the egg, holding onto it with arms outstretched. Honestly nothing to do with me but I thought it was a brilliant coincidence and quite creepy!! The "Egg" consists of a thin outer surface, a gooey, gelatinous substance and the head and base for the stalk in the centre, as seen on the bottom left, one I accidentally stood on about a year ago. Pretty gross tbh!!!

Once it "hatches", it grown very rapidly (10-15cm/4-5 inches an hour!) into the Stinkhorn Mushroom, as seen on the top right, and the stem is made of a strange, strong but light sponge like substance, nothing like other mushrooms.

The gelatinous substance in the egg turns to the brown goo at the top, which replicates fresh cow dung both visually and in scent - hence the name - that are actually spores, that cleverly and stinkingly attracts thousands of flies, that land on the tip of the mushroom, then carry the spores stuck to them when they leave, far and wide - for many more of these gross but incredible fungi to grow again!!!!! The final stage is when all the goo has gone, and ends up looking like the top left picture (spider included), a rather sorry looking, phallic white stick. What a journey eh!

Thank you so much for your patience, I just had to share this and hope you found it interesting and amusing!! :)

Post Type Mixed Media Photography Mixed Media Some
All photos shot with Iphone SE, some in daylight some by torchlight, all sharpened and cropped with lighting adjusted, and put into the collage.

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