(ORDO NEWS) — Beneath our feet is a living web, as complex and extensive as the root system in a virgin forest, which was created by mushrooms.
Fungi that developed in the oceans were among the first living things to colonize Earth’s barren continents more than half a billion years ago. It was the mushrooms that paved the way for terrestrial plants, animals and ultimately us humans.
The behavior of mushrooms is so complex that scientists are increasingly wondering if we should consider them intelligent.
Here are ten more interesting facts about mushrooms:
- Mushrooms live in their own kingdom, but they are closer to animals than plants;
- The cell walls of fungi contain chemicals that are found in lobsters and crabs;
- The moldy fungus Aspergillus tubingensis is capable of destroying plastic in a few weeks, which under normal conditions would decompose for several years;
- In Brazil and Japan, you can see the famous Chlorophos Mycena – fluorescent mushrooms that give off glowing spores and look amazing!
- Scientists discover about 2,000 new species of fungi every year that live in a wide variety of places, including the human body;
- Plastic car parts, synthetic rubber and LEGOs are made using itaconic acid, which is obtained from mushrooms.
- The best producer of this acid is the mushroom Aspergillus terreus (Aspergillus earthen) ;
- The basis for the production of an analogue of expanded polystyrene, a leather substitute, some building materials and interior decor elements is obtained from mushrooms;
- Research shows that a small soil sample can be home to thousands of different types of fungi, many of which are hidden and unknown to science;
- Unlike plants, fungi do not contain chlorophyll and therefore are not capable of photosynthesis. In other words, mushrooms cannot produce their own food – carbohydrates – from the energy of light. This makes them more animal-like in terms of their “eating habits”. For growth and development, fungi must absorb carbon-containing compounds such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates;
- According to the Van Nostrand Encyclopedia of Science , mushrooms have “very diverse habits and characteristics,” so generalizing them is extremely difficult. In fact, it is much easier to organize animals and plants than mushrooms.
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