There are so many types of mushrooms, and the possibilities and recipes are endless. However, some are so poisonous that you should never think of going near. From the yummy to the deadly, there are quite a few of the weirdest mushrooms out there.
Mushrooms are high in fiber and vitamins, and they are also fat and cholesterol-free. Due to their versatility, they are popular around the world. Their meat-like heft and texture make for a great addition to any meal. These days, you generally don't have to travel further than your local grocery shop to delve into the world of mushrooms.
However, you won't find all of the weirdest mushrooms in your local grocery store. For that, you would need to peek into remote corners of the forests. Here are some of the weirdest mushrooms out there. Check out our list of the funkiest fungi!
Witches' Butter (Exidia glandulosa)
It carries this name because of its buttery and greasy consistency and its deep black color. This mushroom can be found on dead hardwood such as beech, oak, hazel, and very rarely on pine. As one of the weirdest mushrooms, it doesn't look appetizing for use in your meal.
It is considered a jelly fungus. You may find fruiting bodies at any time of the year, but it is the easiest to see it in autumn. Another species known as Yellow Brain Fungus is often wrongly referred to as Witches' butter. Even though Witches' Butter is not considered toxic, it is still not considered to have a distinctive taste.
Dead Man's Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)
It is clear why this is one of the weirdest mushrooms out there. This fungus looks like the decaying warty fingers of a man reaching up through the earth from his shallow grave. Quite a sight!
Dead Man's Fingers are saprotrophic fungi. This means that it grows on the dead and decomposing matter, breaking it down into nutrient-rich debris for others to feast on. It can be found mainly in spring and summer, but you may encounter it all year round in fewer places. It is not edible.
Purple Jellydisc (Ascocoryne sarcoides)
Does this weird mushroom look like brains? Or intestines? Purple Jellydisc mushroom looks like a part of a body has been splatted against a tree. Not appealing at all.
As weirdest mushrooms go, this one is widespread. It is a saprotrophic species and is made up of a gelatinous mass of pink and purple discs. It is mostly found on dead wood. However, sometimes you can find it on living trees. Here it is parasitic and associated with tree heart rot.
Even though it is edible, it is also disgusting.
Death Cap (Amanita phalliodes)
We might need to explain why this is one of the weirdest mushrooms out there. It is a very inconspicuous mushroom in a more conventional shape that looks highly similar to a selection of edible varieties.
However, this mushroom is poisonous to the point of being fatal as it has no known antidote. It doesn't take much for it to act. A few hours after ingesting, the victim will begin to suffer from abdominal pain and severe vomiting. After this, the victim will cruelly appear to recover for a few days, followed by catastrophic kidney and liver failure. Stay away from this one!
Stinkhorns (Phallus impudicus)
This weird mushroom wins by a mile by its best Latin name. However, this tropical variety is probably the most impressive.
Stinkhorns emerge out of an egg, known as a witch's egg. As it grows, it has a green coating on the tip called the gleba. This tip smells like rotting flesh. Flies are attracted to it and will eat the gleba and leave behind a white conical tip. It grows in all types of woodlands and gardens.
Wood Ear aka Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae)
This is an ear-like mushroom that grows on trees. It is quite common and can be found pretty much everywhere now.
However, it is one of the weirdest mushrooms out there in part due to its controversial and dark history. It used to be known as the Jews Ear. It was initially named after the apostle Judas, who allegedly hanged himself from an Elder tree.
No wonder why that name is no longer used or accepted. Wood ear is a much more appropriate name.
Shaggy ink caps aka Lawyers wig, Judges wig (Coprinus comatus)
This weird mushroom looks like it is covered in shaggy fur. Its appearance makes it one of the weirdest mushrooms out there.
The underside of the shaggy ink cap starts out white, then turns black and secretes a black liquid filled with spores. This is how the name came about.
It is widespread and can currently be seen at the roadside, in parklands, and even in lawns in summer.
Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)
This mushroom is vast, weird, and alien. It is also a fantastic find.
It has a bright sulfur color that fades to a pale yellow. When young, these mushrooms are plump and fleshy. As they get older, they spread and fan themselves out. It can be found from May to August on trees and stumps.
They are safe to be eaten when treated at a high temperature and very tasty!
False Morel (Gyromitra Esculenta)
Considered a delicacy in the Great Lakes region of the USA, this is one of the weirdest mushrooms you can find. Its name came from the cap which resembles a brain.
Be careful with it. It is edible after being cooked well. Eaten raw, it can kill you. Real Morels are very delicious and are an exceptional delicacy. However, mistaking one of these False Morel mushrooms for the real thing could be fatal.
Indigo Milkcap (Lactarius Indigo)
This mushroom can be found in Central America, East Asia, and in the deciduous and coniferous forests of Eastern North America. It had gotten its name because a milky latex substance seeps out when it is broken open or sliced.
This oozing milk is a deep, beautiful aquatic blue, which makes it one of the weirdest mushrooms you can find out there. Alien-like, this mushroom may look poisonous. However, it is not. It is edible and quite tasty.
Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus)
While this is a very weird mushroom, you cannot deny that it looks quite elegant too. Due to its weird appearance, not many would think of trying it. However, in spite of this, Lion's Mane is edible.
This mushroom is indigenous to North America. It grows in dense forests, exclusively on hardwood trees. It is delicious and considered a delicacy.
Bleeding Tooth Mushroom (Hydnellum Packii)
This mushroom is indigenous to Europe and North America. However, in the past few years, it has been discovered in Korea and Iran as it spreads.
The name comes from the ooze that naturally seeps out of the younger specimens. It resembles blood and gives this mushroom a uniquely weird look. If you see it in the wild, you will agree that it is one of the weirdest mushrooms in the world.
This bright red liquid has been tested and found to have anticoagulant properties. This mushroom has medicinal uses, and it is edible. But take note because it apparently tastes very bitter and has an extremely unpleasant smell.