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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Newly-discovered Mushrooms Look Weirdly Like Tiny Humans

Newly-discovered Mushrooms Look Weirdly Like Tiny Humans

An eerie new species of fungus discovered look like little HUMANS

With fleshy heads, arms and legs, these magical mushrooms look like little humans.

Discovered by Jonathan Revett in Cockley Cley, Norfolk, the fungus has just been classified as a new species in the world.

They have been named as geastrum britannicum to reflect them being unique to the UK.

Jonathan, 49, said: "They do look like little mushroom men.

"It's really strange how their shape makes them look like they have a head and arms.

"That's what drew my attention to them." Despite first spotting them in 2000, the fungus was dismissed as a species of earthstar fungi which is prevalent in Norfolk.

Having been interested in mycology - the study of fungus - for more than 40 years, Jonathan sent them off to Kew Gardens for testing.

Despite them being dismissed as a sub-species of an already know fungus, the rare rayed earthstar. However, 15 years later, mycologists in Spain carried out DNA sequence analysis and have just confirmed they differ slightly.

Jonathan - who runs the mycology website - said: "It felt brilliant knowing I'd found something new.

"I wouldn't normally question the experts but I just knew these were different.

"I go back to the site every year doing tours and they're always there.

"It's incredible to think I'd only gone out there to look at some big mushrooms I'd been tipped off about." Since Jonathan's original find, three more specimens have been collected in Norfolk and the fungus has also been found in Hampshire and the Welsh Borders.

Carl Chapman, of Norfolk-based Wildlife Tours and Education, said: "This is riveting stuff. This is not just a new species for Norfolk - this is a new species for the world.

"They were doing the work and requested some samples of this fungus and found the DNA was different."

The mushrooms dancing in the Disney movie Fantasia:


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