What would you do if you found a mysterious egg in your backyard? A woman found herself in that exact situation and wasn’t sure what to do. She assumed that maybe it was a bird’s egg, but when it started to hatch, she realized this was definitely not a bird. In fact, it was a fungus known as devil’s fingers or Clathrus archeri in Latin.
This weird mushroom has some strange characteristics, and can certainly be confused with a mysterious egg before it hatches. When it is still contained inside the membrane, it looks like an alien with tentacles about to emerge and take over the Earth. However, once it breaks free, it still kind of looks like that.
Devil’s fingers, also known as Octopus Stinkhorn, can be found all over the world and is just one of the crazy species of fungus that exists. There are in fact many other fungi that have strange characteristics and look like something from another planet. It’s crazy to think that a mysterious egg can turn out to be something so weird looking.
Before it is released from its mysterious egg, the devil’s fingers fungus almost looks like the eggs from the Alien movies. It won’t jump out and attach to your face, though.
Once the devil’s fingers hatch from its mysterious egg, it grows outward in long, red arms that resemble tentacles. It also goes by the name Octopus Stinkhorn because of its appearance and the terrible stench.
The dark, sticky looking liquid coating the inside of the fungus is a gleba which contains spores. Though the fungus looks poisonous, it is actually edible.
However, because of its foul odor and horrible taste, scientists say that it should only be eaten if absolutely necessary, such as in a survival situation.
There are plenty of other strange mushrooms in the world such as the bleeding tooth fungus or “strawberries and cream” mushroom. According to National Geographic, the fungus has a “bad, bitter taste.”
The cedar apple rust fungus can grow on apple or cedar trees. Fungi researcher Kathie Hodge at Cornell University told National Geographic “They’re gelatinous and weird, and they look like weird tree octopi.”
Coral fungus have the distinct appearance of their namesake, but are found growing on decaying wood like any other mushroom. According to mushroomexpert.com, they are safe to eat and taste similar to cabbage.
Finally, this innocent looking mushroom is actually amanita virosa, more commonly and scarily known as the destroying angel. It is one of the most toxic mushrooms in the world, and according to the Nova Scotia museum website, it can “cause a painful death.”
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