Suddenly, I have a favorite fungus

It’s beautiful: the devil’s fingers, AKA the octopus fungus. Even just the name is like a barbed hook calculated to draw me in.


It has other interesting features, besides the awesome appearance.

While unappealing to us humans,

Stop right there. Am I not human? Did I not coo in delight when I first saw this lovely organism? Do I not want to see my grassy yard replaced with thousands of erupting fungal eggs?

But do continue.

what you’re seeing is actually a rather ingenious method of reproduction. The tentacles are laced with a foul smelling tissue, specially formulated to attract flies and other insects. When bugs come-a-knockin’, they get to feed on the slimy substance, but not before their feet are coated with fungus’ spores.

See? What’s unappealing about all that?


  1. moarscienceplz says

    Am I not human?

    Based on available evidence, I’d say it’s more likely you are an octopus with multiple birth defects.

  2. blf says

    The mildly deranged MUSHROOMS! points out this cheese doesn’t like penguins, albeit the horses aren’t complaining. (She then fell over, beak-down, and is now giggling madly.)

  3. PatrickG says

    @ PZ:

    Am I not human?

    You’ll forgive me for saying I need to prick your skin as a first test. If a cloud of spores is emitted, then

    *gasp urk bhlergh*

    [spore voice] Yes. Yes you are human.