Now you wonder what makes mushrooms so special, so listen to us. These new variants of mushrooms glow at night! Don’t believe us? Well, then see for yourself.
We know you might think these pictures are photo shopped, but they’re actually real
More than 600 varieties of mushrooms were found near the water flow in the East Khasi Hills district of Mavlinnang. Later, a team of scientists from India and China found more species in the western Jaintia Hills district. They include these bioluminescent mushroom species, which locals like to call electric mushrooms. It is the scientific name Roridomyces Phyllostakydis
Members of the roridomices genus are very delicate and like moist and humid conditions, said Samantha Karunaratne, a senior microbiologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In general, bioluminescent mushrooms co-develop with certain insects as these mushrooms attract insects to disperse their spores.
Interestingly, locals use these glowing mushrooms as natural torches to navigate the forest at night. Bioluminescent fungi grow mainly in tropical regions in Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, the US, and parts of Australia.
Describing the mechanism behind the bright stems, Karunaratna told the Indian Express, “Greenlight is released when Luciferians are stimulated by an enzyme called luciferase in the presence of oxygen. During a chemical reaction, many unstable intermediate products are released as extra energy, which makes them appear light.”
According to mycologists, India has more bioluminescent mushrooms than is actually reported. Besides Meghalaya, they are also found in Maharashtra, Goa, and Kerala states, but most people are not aware of this.
The growing number of western and eastern ghats has not yet been scientifically investigated. Also, it’s a rare case of electric mushrooms being found on earth, as bioluminescent fungi usually grow in the ocean.
Senior scientist and head of Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute CK Pradeep told Scroll, “This discovery is very important and adds importance in understanding the phytogeographical distribution of bioluminescent fungi and related issues. Finding bioluminescent fungi in forests is very challenging because we have to look for them at night.”
He added, “A vast area of India is not even explored for a group of fungi and macrofungi in particular. So far, we have documented only species of fungi that form mushrooms from India compared to the area of our country.
when you visit Meghalaya, you have another attraction to add to your journey. Oh, what a visual treat it will be!