The natural world is full of wonders that never cease to amaze us, from the majestic giant bats soaring through the sky to the intriguing ‘snakes’ lurking in the trees.
It can be said that Regan Daniels, a native of North Carolina, has made a remarkable discovery.
Daniels shared her collection of photographs on the Mushroomcore Facebook page, which contributed to a worldwide trend.
In the summer of 2020, Regan Daniels happened to be hiking in the forests of western North Carolina, where she witnessed a mesmerizing sight that took her breath away.
Daniels immediately picked up her camera, inspired by the unusual scene before her, eager to capture the essence of this distinctive phenomenon.
The photos were shared with the Mushroomcore group, which has over 30,000 members, in order to facilitate the sharing of the experience.
These mushrooms have been called “corpse fingers” because of their bloated, black appearance, resembling a person trying to get out of their own dead body.
“Saw this Dead Man’s Fingers, the fungus that I literally thought was a Halloween decoration!” cried Regan in her post. This fungus’s striking appearance is unusual, but many people are unaware of its year-round presence.
These mushrooms are found worldwide but are most commonly found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, continental Europe, and certain parts of North America. With a trained eye, one can spot these swollen and wart-covered ‘fingers’ in nature’s nooks and crannies.
To discover these peculiar treasures, you can look for them on dead stumps or rotting wood, especially on broad-leaved trees such as beech trees.
Xylaria polymorpha, commonly known as Dead Man’s Fingers, often emerges through layers of moss and rotting leaves as it only grows on dead or dying wood. Its ghostly presence is enhanced by this essential factor. While it is not commonly consumed, First Nature notes that it has limited culinary potential.
During her exploration of a North Carolina park, Regan Daniels came across clusters of mushrooms.
These sculptures were accompanied by a group of fellow mushrooms of the same species emerging from a decaying stump.
It is worth noting that these mushrooms are indeed real. Several captivating photographs have been discovered online that provide evidence for the existence of these distinct creatures.
“I found the mushroom in Western North Carolina in the USA at a park that I frequent,” Regan explained to Bored Panda. He continued, adding, “The walk is nice [and] it’s close to the French Broad River, so there’s a lot of good scenery.”
While the discovery was made in a renowned area, the uncovered specimens seem to be remarkably well-maintained.
The Dead Man’s Fingers mushroom is relatively little known due to its frightening appearance, which discourages many people from coming into contact with it or eating it.
However, this neglect has unwittingly helped to preserve these magnificent specimens in their natural habitat, where they continue to inspire admiration.