Mycology: fungi is magic right here on Earth
Science and technology
Stephen Axford: How fungi changed my view of the world

When we think about forests, we think about the part that we can see. But the trees, plants and mushrooms are only just a small fraction of an enormous web-of-life ecosystem, where the majority of the work is taking place under the ground.

In fact mushrooms are really just the flower or fruit of fungi, so that is the part we see. Fungi combine with roots to create a decentralized network underground, which serves as a communications and transportation network for nutrients, food, and information.

In 2020, science was barely beginning to understand how these fungal networks function.

Stephen Axford is originally a computer software programmer who became a fungi photographer after beginning to photograph mushrooms in his backyard in Australia.

Fungi come in a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, and colors, including stunning glow-in-the-dark varieties all over the world.

Honestly, watching the time-lapses of luminous mushrooms growing will make you happy to be alive on our planet!

The health benefits to humans of consuming mushrooms go from life-saving to deadly. They can even be delicious and deadly at the same time...

Fungi recycle the nutrients from fallen branches and leaves from the forest floor into the soil. The trees and mushrooms have a symbiotic relationship: the trees provide carbohydrates (food) to the fungi, and the fungi provide nutrients to the trees.

The mushrooms are so powerful that they are the ones who repair the ground after forest fires.

"I used to work as a computer software engineer on very large computer systems, and systems that we think of as being very complex. But a computer system is designed by humans, and get enough of us together and we can explain everything about them.
Even the smallest system in the natural world is more complex than the largest computer system."

Once i began to go down the rabbit hole of fungi, i landed on this amazing company that operates a mushroom farm. Their entrepreneurial story is fascinating and can be seen on their website:

The magic and potential of fungi is one of the discoveries i've made recently that give me hope in the future of humankind.
Planet Earth
YIXI Talks / Stephen Axford and Catherine Marciniak
published by Planet Fungi
This item is shared by Philip M Shearer with the Community and the World.
Created on 2022-04-19 at 07:31 and last updated on 2022-04-19 at 09:56.