The 4 Strangest Fungi the World Has Ever Seen

Tom Edwards, Sutton, England

21 December 2021

With their vibrant colors and rich shapes, mushrooms could look pretty weird. However, with these differences they can also create interest worldwide.

While many remain fascinating with their unique patterns reminiscent of various creatures, there are other fungus that are able to provide qualities that can improve health thanks to their evolution throughout the centuries. But, because of the weirdness that fungi can produce, it makes us wonder where their origin truly comes from. Below, we have listed 4 of the weirdest fungi to be discovered and profiled using microbiome sequencing and our microbial profiling services.


The Wood Ear Fungi

Found in very mild climates within forests, the wood ear fungi make their home as a group among old trees, as well as beech trees, ash, and spindle.

Why the Wood Ear is Unique

As we see in its name, this fungus has a striking resemblance to our ears. With a variety of colors, they provide a vibrancy that is both succulent and beautiful as well as a fresh appearance.

Properties of the Wood Ear Fungus

The wood ear fungus has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. It is thought to have the ability to improve different types of ailments such as sore throat, fevers, and the common cold. Some studies have shown that this ability may be in fact true. In fact, a wood ear compound known as beta-glucans have the ability to enhance an individual’s immune-defense. Plus, their number of antimicrobials is a pretty high amount.

The Turkey Tail

With the turkey tail, it too is found within forests worldwide. Although they can be found on trees that are both dead or alive, they are frequently discovered on a tree stump or tree logs. They belong to a group of fungi referred to as bracket fungi due to their bodies being similar to brackets as they are fruiting off of a tree.

Why the turkey tail is unique

For obvious reasons it is its name and the fact that their shape as a group fan around the tree they occupy resembles a turkey tail. Their colors range from grey, brown, and black as well as several different hues.

Properties of the Turkey Tail Fungus

Some properties within the turkey tail fungus are able to enhance the immune system. These are known as polysaccharopeptides and consist of a polysaccharide Peptide and Polysaccharide-K. Cases have shown Polysaccharide Peptides are able to increase the body´s WBC count. Plus, the Polysaccharide-K triggers the body´s macrophages, which are another type of WBC used for microbe defense. By having an additional defense with these, they have become approved by countries such as Japan and China to help strengthen the immune system.


The Lobster Mushroom

As a North American native, the lobster fungus can be found within a conifer forest. The season for lobster mushrooms is between the summer and fall months.

Why the Lobster Mushroom is Unique

The strangest thing about the lobster mushroom is the fact that it is not a true fungus. It is actually a mold that consumes a mushroom and then turns into the red lobster tail appearance. It’s mushroom of choice is the Russulla brevipes.

Properties of the lobster mushroom

Although non medicinal benefits exist for the lobster mushroom, it can be eaten. In fact, you may even think that the taste is similar to actual lobster. In dishes, it’s used often for vegetarian purposes and can be easily substituted in many recipes calling for lobster.

The Bleeding Tooth

Found in North American mountains, South Korea, Iran, and Europe, they are found close to the conifer trees root system.

Why the Bleeding Tooth is Unique

When you think of nightmares, this mushroom will easily come to mind. This is due to its sap being a bright red color that oozes while fruiting occurs. As it gets older, a brownish-grey color begins to appear and ceases to produce its red sap.

Properties of the Bleeding Tooth Mushroom

For medicinal purposes, the bleeding tooth mushroom has a blood thinning chemical, which can be used to prevent the formation of blood clots.

Through our microbiome analysis service, we are able to analyze and extract the microbiome from a fungus so it can be used for medicinal purposes.

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