Back by popular demand (upwards of 3 people), it’s the return of everyone’s favorite quarterly, mushroom-focused series! Today we’re talking about fungi that are big, beautiful and fabulous.
Pop Quiz: Do you know that the largest living organism on earth is? If you would have asked me this last week, I would have guessed blue whale, a redwood tree, or maybe something like a giraffe riding on a blue whale. All would have been incorrect; as I’ve learned this week that the world’s largest living thing is none other than a fungus! Fungi never cease to amaze!
In the Malheur National Forest in Oregon lives a full-figured fungus so large it is hard to comprehend. Apparently the extensive ‘honey mushroom’ mass covers an area of about 3.5 miles, or more than 2,200 acres. Most of which is underground but my mind is still blown. (I was way off on my original guess. You’d have to stack an incredible amount of giraffes on top of a blue whale to come close to matching this formidable organism.)
In other large fungus news, just this week a real beauty was discovered in China’s Yunnan Province. Coming in at a whopping 33 pounds, this glorious heavyweight has over 100 caps; or according to my calculations, enough to complement 500 dishes of General Tso’s.
There are many more big & tall fungi out there that deserve recognition. The Fomitiporia ellipsoidea species can grow up to 35.5 feet long and weigh 800-1,000 pounds, while the Giant Puffball’s not so shabby either. We could go on for days but let’s go ahead and call it here to allow time for reflection.
I encourage you all to spend some time this weekend and marvel at how great fungi are. Especially the large ones! I don’t know about you, but I haven’t thought about how awesome huge mushrooms are since level 4 of Super Mario 3. I’m grateful for this reminder today.