from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Fungus is everywhere. One of the largest organisms in the world is actually a huge fungus over 2 miles across, growing in Oregon. Fungi might have even been the first organisms to live on land, and mushrooms covered the earth’s surface after the world’s worst mass extinction event — feeding off all the dead plants and animals. So it might not be cockroaches that inherit the earth, but fungus. And if we ever find alien life, it could look more like mushrooms than humanoid life.
- Mushrooms are often overlooked, but they’re vitally important to the earth’s ecosystem — helping to decompose all kinds of organic (and some inorganic) matter, creating the soils for plants to grow in, as well as providing a source for numerous life-saving drugs for us. Fungi might help us clean up pollution and get rid of various toxic wastes, so someday there might be another meaning for the term “magic mushrooms.” [url]
- White truffles are a rare delicacy — only found in the wild — with prices higher than gold. Other kinds of these edible mushrooms are expensive but not as rare, and the industry supplying these delicacies is a secretive and sometimes shady business. [url]
- Fungus isn’t just for eating anymore. Certain fungus species can be used to produce jet fuel. It’s still a challenge to scale up biofuel production using fungus, but it could be easier to get biofuels from fungus than from microorganisms like algae or from plants that need more resources for cultivation. [url]
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