The illustrious New York Times recently published an article all about the fly agaric, the mushroom of fairy tales. They came across the photos of mushroom hunters on Facebook, and they were especially intrigued by the images of Csaba Reisz, who captured a mushroom as big as a child.
The fly agaric can be found in the mossy forests of North America and Europe. When they first emerge from the soil, they look like white eggs. What’s so unique about them is that they can grow quite big (up to a foot tall). They are characterised by a red cap with warts on the top, which make its appearance quite fairytale-like.
It seems like they’ve been quite popular among mycologists recently as more and more photos and videos can be found on Facebook. The New York Times especially liked the images of Csaba Reisz, a fertilizer salesman and soil nutrition consultant in southern Hungary.
Mushroom hunting is his passion: “I make everything right with a little mushroom hunting and photo shooting.”
He likes to go on the mushroom hunts with his children. In the autumn months, he often finds the fly agaric in the forest close to him. Even though he admires them, he won’t make dinner out of it, because the magical mushrooms contain mind-altering neurotoxins.
These toxins affect both humans and animals. Several news report strange stories about the effects of the mushroom. For instance, it made coyotes terrorize motorists and reindeer have tripped on them too. When consumed by humans, it can cause rapid heartbeat, hallucinations and fear.
Nonetheless, looking at these magical mushrooms is more than satisfactory. Csaba Reisz believes that the mushrooms he found were able to get so big due to recent weather conditions.
You can read the whole article here.
Featured image: Wiki Commons