The Spooky Dead Man’s Fingers’ Fungus

Samuel Reason | May 29th, 2019

If you are walking around the forest and happen to see a pair of fingers protruding out of the ground. Don’t be alarmed, chances are it is just a fungus. This scary and spooky dead man’s fingers’ fungus has caused many a panic during its thousands of years of existence. Police have been called to forests around the world, only to find, someone mistook a herb for a dead body.

i.imgur.com

And to be honest, it is really easy to see why this fungus would spook someone. Known as Xylaria Polymorpha, if a name was not scary enough, it is often looking like some decayed human fingers popping out of the ground. These spooky looking dead fingers appear to be reaching out of the forest floor. Without adequate lighting in a gloomy forest, hikers easily mistake the fungus for an actual dead body.

The fungus grows as a single stem, but frequently it goes out as five branches, making it perfectly embody the human hand. Each branch can grow up to eight centimeters tall, and despite it looking very morbid they are actually quite harmless. This type of fungus is simply a wood decay that grows on top of a tree’s roots.

Commonly it is found on the east of the Rocky Mountains, though it has been spotted on numerous mountain ranges around the world. Normally they sprout in the autumn, with the finger-like fungus going black and brown on the outside while keeping a bright white interior color.

At one point it will shoot out its spores from the tip of the “finger” to pollinate the forest with its spores and keep the fungus alive. The unique thing about the dead man’s fingers’ fungus is that this process sometimes takes months to a year, making it quite a rare mushroom. Many mushrooms only live a couple of days and then disperse their spores immediately, whereas the polymorpha mushroom has a long life span and can take some time to germinate.

One thing to note is though it is not known to be harmful, they are not considered edible: as it has a hardwood-like texture. So if you do spot them in the forest bed, best to just give the dead hand a wave and continue on your way!

Next Article
  • First Toothbrush Was Actually A Chewbrush

    Some think of toothbrushes as being man’s best friend and that this award is not actually occupied by dogs. In modern times, people have indeed voted that toothbrush is one of the greatest inventions that we cannot live without. In surveys, it beats microwaves, automobiles, and television - but it is interesting to look at...

    Read More
  • Oldest Organism On Earth Only Reproduce Every 10,000 Years

    Researchers who have been working with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have discovered new bacteria, fungi, and viruses living a mile under the ocean floor that are thought to be millions of years old. The incredible discovery shines some light on how old species on Earth really are, with...

    Read More
  • One Rickshaw Driver Was Able To Help Educate Hundreds Of Poor Children

    A famous rickshaw driver by the name of Mr. Bai Fang Li is a folklore legend in his home region, having helped hundreds of poor children afford education during his lifetime. Most people believe in relaxation when getting older, especially as they retire, but not Mr. Li who continued his donation lifestyle until the very...

    Read More
  • The Vine That Is A Master Mimic

    When it comes to changing into something else or camouflaging, the world is filled with organisms that can do this. The Chameleon is, of course, the most famous one, that can alter its color and blend in with its background. And in the insect world, you will find butterflies that mimic toxic insect or sticks...

    Read More
  • The Secret Ingredient To Victorian Leather Was Dog Poop

    Back in time, dog poop was an extremely valuable resource for leather makers. Every coat, handbag, briefcase or any sort of leather goods was created by using dog poop to an extent. So as you can imagine some entrepreneurs around the city of London found a way to benefit from this ever-growing need for dog...

    Read More
  • The Invention Of Artificial Sweetener Was By Accident

    Constantin Fahlberg was a famous Russian chemist who by accident discovered an artificial sweetener by the name of saccharin, this allowed him to become extremely wealthy by mass producing it for the public Here is his story. The artificial sweetener was known as the new coal tar sugar, and despite...

    Read More
  • Extreme Ironing Is A Real Sport

    Yes, you heard it right, extreme ironing is a real and practiced extreme sport around the world. It is known as a tough sport to get good at because it is one of the only outdoor sports that combines both the dangers and excitement of an extreme sport, with the well known and loved the...

    Read More