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Not Necessarily Stoned, But Beautiful

One of seven new species of bioluminescent fungi whose discovery was recently announced in the journal Mycologia, bringing the known total of such species around the world to 71.

How do you find glow-in-the-dark mushrooms? In the rainforests of Belize, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico, San Francisco State University mycologist Dennis Desjardin and colleagues scouted for mushrooms during new moons, the forest so dark they would sometimes lose sight of their hands in front of their faces. And suddenly … “when you look down at the ground, it’s like looking up at the sky. Every little ‘star’ was a little mushroom — it was just fantastic.” All the species of glowing mushrooms constantly produce a bright, neon green light. In natural light, they just look grayish-brown. Desjardin believes they developed their glow-in-the-dark capability to attract animals that can spread the mushrooms’ spores, much like fruit allows a plant to spread its seeds. Check out National Geographic and Discovery News for more.

In a cosmic slap in the face to heads worldwide, none of the glowing shrooms have psychedelic properties. Now, there’s an idea for an enterprising bioengineer, some organic Owsley.

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