Humongous Fungus

An article describing the world’s largest living organism.

The world’s biggest organism is found in between a portabella burger, that’s right it’s a mushroom. The Armillaria ostoyae, also known as the honey mushroom, is found throughout North America but the biggest known specimen is located in the Malheur National Forest in Eastern Oregon. This giant mushroom spans 3.5 miles, but if you walked into the forest, you would only see the occasional orange mushroom sprouting up from the ground as seen below.

This is because most of the Armillaria ostoyae’s bulk is underground. Who is credited with this find you may ask? This enormous fungus was found by Catherine Parks, when she was investigating an outbreak of root rot. Catherine is a scientist at the Pacific Northwest research station in La Grande, Oregon. From a selection of aerial photos, she selected an area to test. She collected samples from 112 dying trees and through DNA testing determined that they were from the same organism. With this evidence she proved to the scientific community that a fungus was the world’s largest living organism. Oh, and for all you cooks out there, yes it’s edible.

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Published in: Gardening


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