Fungus Amongus

Fun little stop-motion fungus vid this morning... which I can't get to run on here properly.

While I'm at it, I might as well add a video from a couple weeks back that appeared on Carl Zimmer's blog, The Loom. Entitled "Fungus Cannon," it demonstrates new research by Nicholas Money, a mycologist from Miami University, that fungus achieve the fastest known flight times in nature. These spores are launched at up to 55 miles an hour-which translates to an acceleration of 180,000 g. For more details check out Zimmer's post or the published research in PLoS One. The video is set to Anvil Chorus from Il Travatore.

Coincidentally, all this fungus talk also happens to line up with a purchase I made over the weekend: a grow at home mushroom bag! While it's clear most of these "mushroom grow kit" sites make the bulk of their money off of enterprising Phish fans, they also sell very cool compost blocks inoculated with the mushroom spores of your choosing (pre-sporated if you will). Check out some of these bad boys:


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Clockwise from top-right: Children's mushroom garden, Enokitake, Maitake, Nameko, Reishi, Blue Oyster

Very cool site for all of your fungusy needs. Relatively affordable. Definitely a great gift for that difficult to buy for uber geek in your life.

Thanks to Javier Barrio for the vid link that doesn't actually work and to one of our most prolific tipsters, and enterprise search god, Chris Cleveland, for the fungus cannons.

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It's just great fun to grow fungi; once they get going a fruiting is a rather quick process. Part of the charm is the unpredictability. You can do everything "by the book" and nothing happens. A week later the fungi will go wild, dispersing spores with wild abandon.

Kev - I might ask when Deep Sea News became a bad Raffi imitation?

Aren't fungi animalish, I mean they're not really plants right? Are they flora or fauna, or something in between? Or something else altogether?

Fungi is its own kingdom. A lot of them, especially mushrooms, have symbiotic relationship with animal and plant kingdom.

I like your blog and love this post. I'll keep reading. You make mushrooms very cool. Consider your friend.