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The 7 Most Bizarre Mushroom and Fungi Species In The World

April 13, 2014

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of certain fungi, and once mature they produce microscopic spores (like pollen) that may number in the billions. While many ‘shrooms are considered a delicacy, even ordinary mushrooms look incredibly weird with their umbrella-like tops and mushy undersides. We’ve rounded up 7 of the most bizarre mushroom and fungi species to date.

1. The Brain Mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta)

Source: Shroomery

Source: Shroomery

The Gyromitra esculenta fungus is a false morel that’s found in both Europe and North America. Unlike true morels, this species of fungus, commonly called the brain mushroom, was found to be poisonous and should not be eaten. The Gyromitra esculenta is characterized by its ruddy red-brown cap that resembles the human brain.

2. Bearded Tooth Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)

Known as the bearded tooth mushroom or the lion’s mane mushroom, the Hericium erinaceus is an edible, medicinal mushroom that belongs to the tooth fungus group. This mushroom species is usually found sprouting from living, recently cut trees in North America, Asia or Europe. Hericium erinaceus mushrooms are thought to protect the nervous system and boost immune function. Don’t worry, this bizarre mushroom can be purchased in tablet form—you don’t have to consume those raw dangling spines to reap the health benefits!

3. Amanita muscaria

The Amanita muscaria mushroom looks like it was plucked straight from the latest Alice in Wonderland movie. This mushroom species is a toadstool, meaning that it’s usually considered a poisonous species. Thankfully, reported deaths from consuming the Amanita muscaria are rare.

Amanita Muscaria Poisonous Mushroom

Source: Wallpapers87

4. Morchella esculenta

Bizarre Mushroom Morel

Source: Wikimedia

The Morchella esculenta, commonly known as a morel, is one of the world’s most highly desired mushrooms, despite its unappealing appearance. Morels are characterized by a fruit body that expands into a large, yellowish sponge that contains deep pits. People have a hard time growing these tasty mushrooms commercially, which contributes to their high demand (and price) in many parts of the world.

5. Hydnellum pecki

While the Hydnellum pecki is undoubtedly a bizarre mushroom species, its appearance is also quite terrifying. This inedible fungus is found in various parts of the world and should not be eaten. While young fruit bodies “bleed” a pigment containing anticoagulant properties, older Hydellum pecki fungi are brownish and are thus less eye catching.

6. Indigo Milk Cap (Lactarius indigo)

Lactarius Indigo

Source: Wikimedia

The Lactarius indigo mushroom gets the name indigo milk because it exudes a blue milky liquid when cut with a knife. This bizarre mushroom grows in North and Central America and is usually characterized by its silvery-blue coloring. Lactarius indigo mushrooms aren’t particularly common, but they are one of the most beautiful (and bizarre) mushroom species in the world.

Bizarre Mushroom Blue Milk

Source: Plaidbird

7. Coprinus comatus

Known as the shaggy mane, the Coprinus comatus is an edible mushroom that’s quite common. Unlike most other mushroom species, this bizarre mushroom will dissolve itself within hours of depositing spores or being picked. Therefore, this mushroom must be consumed shortly after picking, before it turns black.

Coprinus Comatus Bizarre Mushroom

Source: Reddit

Via All That Is Interesting: The 7 Most Bizarre Mushroom and Fungi Species In The World

Train Surfing: The Most Terrifying Anger Management Exercise Ever

April 12, 2014

Apartheid and the struggle against it have largely shaped the course of modern South African history. And in Katlehong, one of the key outposts of the anti-apartheid struggle, young South Africans continue to manifest their anger in a way you’d never expect: by train surfing. As one of the staff riders (local slang for the sport) says, train surfing offers itself as a physical release that is much less violent than robbing or beating others.

Via All That Is Interesting: Train Surfing: The Most Terrifying Anger Management Exercise Ever

Ornate, Gruesome and Beautiful, This Is How The World Honors Holy Week

April 11, 2014
Penitents in White

Members of the “San Gonzalo” brotherhood atone for their sins in Seville, Spain. Source: The Eye

As grocery stores are filled to the brim with Peeps, chocolate treats and bunny everything, there’s no escaping the arrival of Easter. Yet for millions of people all over the world, Easter is much more than candy, colorful eggs and friendly rabbits. April 13th marks the beginning of Holy Week 2014, an annual commemoration of the days that led up to the death of Jesus Christ. Holy Week, which encompasses Palm Sunday, Holy Saturday and Good Friday, is a period of both deep sadness and anticipation of Easter’s arrival, when Christians believe Jesus was resurrected.

Holy Week is observed by Christians around the world, though the look of these ceremonies and rituals varies greatly based on geographical region, cultures, religious sects and traditions. Even the names vary greatly, as other parts of the world refer to Holy Week as Semana Santa or Great Week. Some regions (most notably Spain) perform penance processions, where penitents from ancient religious brotherhoods publicly repent for their sins. To prevent their identification, the penitents wear large hoods that look, to some, like the garb preferred by the reviled Ku Klux Klan (although the two sects have absolutely no relation).

Holy Week in Guatemala

In Guatemala City, people parade the Jesús Nazareno de la Merced statue throughout the city square as part of the Holy Tuesday procession. Source: The Eye

Holy Week Procession

In northern Spain, a penitent prepares for the “Los Picaos” brotherhood procession. Source:

Romanian Woman Grieves on Palm Sunday

To mark Palm Sunday, Orthodox believers in Frumusani, Romania meet at midnight to mourn the loss of loved ones and set fire to the graves. Source: The Sacramento Bee

Holy Week Penitents

Costaleros carry “pasos” through the streets of Seville. Source: Andrew Newey Photography

Woman Kisses Jesus' Feet

A woman kisses the feet of a representation of Jesus Christ in Panama City.

Penitent Procession

Photographer Andrew Newey captures Spanish nazarenos (penitents) during an enormous procession. Source: Andrew Newey Photography

Filipino Men Self-Flagellation During Great Week

To atone for their sins, these Filipino men perform self-flagellation, a practice that’s denounced by most modern believers. Source: International Business Times

Child Partakes in Holy Week

A child partakes in the penitential procession in Seville, Spain in 2009. Source:

People Carry Cross in Colombia

Crowds in Bogota, Colombia carry a gigantic cross during a Via Crucis, which is an artistic representation of Christ bearing His own cross. Source: Sulekha

Holy Week in Germany

More than 1,000 horse riders from the German Slav minority Sorbs partake in a ceremonial parade near a village northeast of Dresden on Easter Sunday. Source: NBC News

Philippines Real Crucifixion

Filipino Catholics participate in a grisly reenactment of the crucifixion, driving actual nails through a penitent’s hands and feet in a ritual that’s controversial to say the least. Source: NY Daily News

Semana Santa Madrid

In Madrid, an Easter procession takes place during Semana Santa. Source: AIL Madrid

Holy Week Worldwide

Penitents from the “Naxarenos” brotherhood walk in a procession in Zipaquira, Colombia. Source: NBC News

Holy Week Portrait of Jesus

Artist Manuel Revillon makes an 10-foot statue comprised of paper, sacks and tree branches for Holy Week in the Philippines. Source: International Business Times

Holy Wednesday in Mexico Women

Women participate in the Stations of the Cross procession in Mexico on Holy Wednesday. Source: Jack Kurtz

Great Week Angels

In this Great Week procession in Masaya, Nicaragua, young girls are dressed as angels. Source: The World Through My Eyes

Palm Sunday in Philippines

Catholics in the Philippines celebrate Palm Sunday and the start of Great Week. Source: International Business Times

Holy Week Living Statues in Peru

In Peru, living statues perform as part of the ceremonies and celebrations. Source: The Eye

Penitents Light Candles

Penitents from the “Calvario” brotherhood in Spain light candles before a Holy Week processional. Source: Euro News

Via All That Is Interesting: Ornate, Gruesome and Beautiful, This Is How The World Honors Holy Week