Weird mushrooms pique people’s curiosity throughout the world because they are vivid, enigmatic, and frequently bizarrely formed. Some enthrall us with strange patterns that resemble animals or even human body parts.
Others dazzle us with health-improving properties that developed over millions of years of fungus adapting to various environments.
Some strange mushrooms are so strange that you have to wonder if they originate from this planet.
Some of the most amazing organisms you’ll uncover are weird mushrooms. Weird mushrooms are incredibly varied creatures, ranging from tasty and entrancing to spooky and downright revolting.
There are likely to be some odd-looking types, with over 14,000 identified mushrooms currently living in damp forest floors, decomposing tree trunks, and dung piles.
Table of Contents
13 Unique Mushrooms, Weird but Colourful & Beautiful
These are 13 of the strangest, rarest, and most exquisite mushrooms in the world, from a “bleeding” tooth mushroom to one that resembles a veil.
- Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
- Puffball (Basidiomycota)
- Indigo Milk Cap (Lactarius indigo)
- Latticed Stinkhorn (Clathrus ruber)
- Bleeding Tooth (Hydnellum peckii)
- Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina)
- Veiled Lady (Phallus indusiatus)
- Bioluminescent Fungus (Mycena chlorophos)
- Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus)
- Blue Pinkgill (Entoloma hochstetteri)
- Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
- Devil’s Cigar (Chorioactis geaster)
- Brain Mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta)
1. Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
This fungus is recognized for its peculiar, stringy look and goes by a variety of names, including lion’s mane, bearded tooth, hedgehog, bearded hedgehog, Satyr’s beard, and pom mushroom.
The “strings” on the mushroom are spines that branch out from a single point and cascade downward like the yarn on a mop head. Mushrooms with lion’s manes are often spherical and white in appearance.
They grow on hardwood trees in North America, Asia, and Europe and are tooth fungi.
2. Puffball (Basidiomycota)
There are numerous varieties of puffball mushrooms, each of which is a member of the kingdom Basidiomycota and has its special traits.
The fact that none of them produce an open cap with spore-bearing gills—instead, the spores are generated internally and the mushroom develops an aperture or splits open to release the spores—is a peculiar characteristic that unites them all.
They are termed puffballs because clouds of spores “puff” out when they burst open or are touched with something, such as falling rains, in addition to their overall look, which is similar to a plain old white button mushroom but typically considerably larger and often coated in hairlike spines.
3. Indigo Milk Cap (Lactarius indigo)
When this bluish-purple beauty is sliced or cracked open, latex that is indigo in color flows forth. All mushrooms in the genus Lactarius share this tendency to leak or “bleed” on their surfaces.
Eastern North America, East Asia, and Central America all have coniferous and deciduous forests where you can find the indigo milk cap. The fresher the specimen, the bluer its body.
4. Latticed Stinkhorn (Clathrus ruber)
Because of its sponge-like, red-cage-like surface, the latticed stinkhorn, also known as the basket stinkhorn, is given its name. The mushroom is extremely bizarre not just because of its appearance, but also because it stinks, hence the word “stink” in its name.
In warmer climates like the Mediterranean and coastal North America, you can find these red-headed mushrooms growing in leaf litter, grassy areas, garden soil, or mulches.
5. Bleeding Tooth (Hydnellum peckii)
The bleeding teeth mushroom can appear rather scary or, on the other hand, delicious depending on how you view it. While young, it exudes bright-red, blood-like fluid (actually xylem sap droplets) from pores in its white cap, making it easy to see.
It loses its capacity to “bleed” as it ages, though, and eventually turns into an unremarkable grayish-brown mushroom. Korea, Iran, North America, and Europe are all home to the bleeding tooth.
6. Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina)
The amethyst deceiver has a striking purple color that makes it peculiarly unusual. Some vibrant aberrations, like the bleeding teeth, become less distinctive over time.
As they age, they lose color and wither, hence the term “deceiver,” but in the deciduous and coniferous forests in temperate zones in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia when they’re fresh, they are brilliantly bright and simple to spot.
7. Veiled Lady (Phallus indusiatus)
The veiled lady mushroom’s dramatic lace skirt initially draws the eye, but this refined fungus also draws attention with its cap. It is covered in a spore-containing greenish-brown slime, and that slime draws insects and flies that spread the spores.
Throughout gardens and woodlands in southern Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia, you can find the exquisite Phallus indusiatus.
8. Bioluminescent Fungus (Mycena chlorophos)
The highlight of this fungus is its ability to illuminate at night. When the ambient temperature is precisely 81 degrees, and for approximately a day after the cap forms and opens, it emits its strongest green light.
The radiance then gradually fades until it is (unfortunately) no longer visible to the unaided eye. To light openly, the aptly named bioluminescent fungus prefers tropical and subtropical conditions, such as those found in Asia and the Pacific.
Fungal bioluminescence’s ecological importance is still a hot area of research.
9. Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus)
The dog stinkhorn begins as an egg-shaped fruiting body concealed in soil’s leaf litter, and when the egg splits, the mushroom transforms into an odd-looking brown-tipped rod with a spectrum of colors from yellow to pink. In just a few hours, the mushroom reaches its maximum height.
The columnal fungus’s tip is covered in an offensive slime that contains spores and attracts insects, which aid in spore dispersal. Dog stinkhorns can be found in eastern North America, Asia, and Europe.
10. Blue Pinkgill (Entoloma hochstetteri)
The Entoloma hochstetteri has a cone-shaped head and is royal blue, like something from a fairytale, thanks to a trio of azulene pigments. In India and its native New Zealand, where the Mori people gave it the name were were-kokako in honor of the kokako bird, it almost seems false among the leaf litter.
The blue mushroom was featured in a set of fungus stamps that New Zealand produced in 2002. It was also printed on the reverse of the $50 banknote in New Zealand.
11. Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
The turkey tail is considerably more decorative than its namesake, the fanning derriere of a famous North American ground bird. Its hues, which can occasionally be rust-brown, grey, or black, depend on its age and location. In clam shell-shaped mushrooms, a rainbow of colors is often created by turkey tails with lovely green accents in their copper-tinted rings.
12. Devil’s Cigar (Chorioactis geaster)
The devil’s cigar is a highly rare mushroom that can only be found in a very small number of places in Texas and Japan. The reason the fungus has this disjunct distribution is still a mystery to scientists.
“It would be difficult indeed to account for it, and we only accept the facts as they are,” mycologist Fred Jay Seaver remarked in 1939.
That doesn’t even resemble a typical mushroom. Devil’s cigar has a different appearance from the standard stem-and-cap fungus structure, more resembling a star or a flower with pedals (in fact, another nickname is the Texas star).
13. Brain Mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta)
Brain mushrooms, sometimes known as fake morels, have caps that have the same form as a brain’s sulci. The oddly shaped toadstool can be found throughout Europe and North America, although it is most common in Britain and Ireland. It prefers to thrive in coniferous woodlands found in mountainous areas.
Because they share the characteristic with actual morels, brain mushrooms can occasionally be mistaken for them (thus the nickname). However, the imitation lacks the distinctive crater-like pits of the actual morel and has more lobes.
What is the rarest mushroom?
Among all the mushroom kinds, white truffles are the most expensive and rarest mushrooms. White truffles are famously difficult to locate even though they are relatively prevalent throughout Europe.
What are the prettiest mushrooms?
Here are some of the prettiest mushrooms in the world.
- Elegant Stinkhorn
- Fly Amanita
- Ghost Fungus
- Rosy Veincap
- Bleeding Tooth Fungus
- Starfish Fungus
- Flame Fungus
- Fluted Bird’s Nest
- Hairy Trumpet Fungus
- Green Pepe
What is the most exotic mushroom?
Ganoderma is one of the most unusual mushrooms. It has been extensively utilized in traditional Chinese medicine and is unique among cultivated mushrooms in that it is grown for its alleged medicinal value rather than for food.
What is the immortal mushroom?
The lingzhi fungus (Ganoderma lucidum). Reishi/Nammex in North America provided this image. The Chinese word lingzhi, which means “herb of spiritual potency,” connotes both spiritual potency and the essence of immortality. It stands for success, happiness, divine power, and longevity.
Which mushrooms are the most expensive?
The costliest mushrooms in the world are matsutakes, a highly treasured autumnal delicacy beloved by fine dining establishments in Japan.
What is the tastiest mushroom in the world?
Maitake. This mushroom, sometimes known as Hen-of-the-Wood, is by far the tastiest one available.
Surprisingly, one of the few species in the world that benefits from climate change is the mushroom and its parent fungus. This is a result of increased fungal activity brought on by elevated atmospheric CO2 levels. It is especially beneficial after a fungus begins to produce spores.
There will be a flurry of fungal activity as climate change intensifies. Furthermore, as warmer temperatures frequently slow down nutrient transport from the soil, it will benefit fungal organisms over the majority of plants.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.