Researchers believe that the glowing mushrooms that have been spotted all over the Internet and hallucinations alike are not the result of a psychedelic reaction to the fungus. In fact, some have even gone as far as to say that the glowing fungus is putting “fun” back in the word, looking more like a science project for elementary students than something that nature would produce intentionally.
Scientists believe though that it is very much intentional, after all. The team pointed out that the plants, like the ones they tested, glow at night to attract insects that can then spread their spores throughout the forest. This is the fungi’s method of spreading itself and reproducing itself since it’s difficult for spores to spread through traditional means in the dense vegetation of the forest.
According to biochemist Cassius Stevani, “Our research provides an answer to the question, ‘Why do fungi make light?’ that was first asked, at least first asked in print, by Aristotle more than 2,000 years ago.” The answering of questions like this have obvious implications and benefits. He went on to point out that, “The answer appears to be that fungi make light so they are noticed by insects who can help the fungus colonize new habitats.”
The study of fungus like this though has serious implications beyond the psychedelic stories that are obviously portrayed. The medical community, and the science community as a whole can greatly benefit from understanding this subject more, and understanding why mushrooms in this particular study acted the way they did. Having a better understanding of these mushrooms ultimately give scientists the ability to push more research and more information on the subject of fungi and their potential impacts generally.