I have seen plenty of wild mushrooms and common fungi in the woods where I live, but I have never seen anything like the ten you are about to see. These are ten of the worlds strangest, craziest and most alien-looking fungi you will ever see. It’s important to note here that all mushrooms are indeed fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms! But what they are is all very real and many of them are more common than the trees that surround them. If you like your fungi on the weird side, this is the post for you…
Basket Stinkhorn (Clathrus ruber)
Also called the latticed stinkhorn, this very strange looking fungi can reach heights of up to 20 cm (7.9 in) This remarkable species was almost certainly introduced rather than native to northern Europe and is considered to be inedible and/or poisonous.
Devils Tooth (Hydnellum peckii)
Some people do describe this fungus as “Danish pastry topped with strawberry jam” and others said it is “The Bleeding Tooth mushroom”. Either way it looks pretty alien to me and what surprised me most about this mushroom is that it isn’t in any way poisonous!
Flor de coco (Neonothopanus gardneri)
If you came across this fungi in broad daylight you might not pay much attention to it, especially given the other plants and fungi that grow in the Brazilan rainforests. But at night it stands out like an alien beacon because it is larger and brighter than other known bioluminescent fungi making it clearly visible in pitch darkness from several feet away.
Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea)
There are quite a few varieties of puffball mushrooms to be found around the world, but none more alien-looking than the giant puffball that most people say looks like a large football. Some have been known to grow up to 150 cm (60 in) in diameter and weights of 20 kg (44 lb)!
Violet Coral (Clavaria zollingeri)
You might expect this to grow in the sea, but not in the middle of a woodland area. The extreme tips of the fragile, slender branches are usually rounded and brownish, but it is the striking tubular, purple bodies that really make it look like an alien species. This photo was taken by The Mushroom Nija over on Instagram and he is well worth a follow.
Octopus Stinkhorn (Clathrus archeri)
If you think this fungus looks like something alien when it is full grown, just wait until you see the photos of it forming by Dan Hoare. It goes in some sort of egg-sack looking thing and is usually around decaying wood chips, old stumps or in leaf litter.
Dead Man’s Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)
To be honest, in this case, it looks more like toes than fingers, but it is still pretty scary. While they are not poisonous in any way they are still not recommended for consumption due to the bitter taste they have.
Veiled Lady (Phallus indusiatus)
First seen on our sister blog, “The Veiled Lady” is characterised by a conical to a bell-shaped cap on a stalk and a delicate “lace skirt” that hangs from beneath the cap and reaches nearly to the ground. Once again you don’t really need me to tell you that this is deadly to touch and should never be eaten.
Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica)
You might not want to spread this common jelly fungus on your toast, not because it is poisonous in any way, but because it has little or no culinary value. Besides it’s butter for the witches, not you!
Collared Earthstar (Geastrum triplex)
This weird looking and inedible fungus are found in the detritus and leaf litter of hardwood forests around the world. Collared Earthstars are larger than other earthstar species, and they have a spore-sac diameter up to 5cm.
Do you know of any other amazing mushrooms that should have made this list? If you do why not leave a comment below and tell us all about it.