Indiana Woman Finds Zombie Fingers in Her Garden – But It’s Just a Funky Fungus
This is generally the time of year when mushroom lovers are busy foraging through wooded areas in Indiana, looking for highly sought-after Morel mushrooms. Morels are just one of more than 2,000 kinds of mushrooms you'll find in the Hoosier state - and a woman here in Evansville recently shared some pictures of what has to be one of the most unique mushrooms of them all.
Meet the Stinkhorn Mushroom
The Stinkhorn mushroom is fairly common in Indiana and comes in all different shapes and sizes, including the common stinkhorn, dog stinkhorn, long net stinkhorn, basket stinkhorn, and octopus stinkhorn. The mushroom pictured above (from Michelle Didriksen Roe on the Evansville Gardeners Facebook page) appears to be an Elegant Stinkhorn, although there is nothing elegant about it.
What Does That Look Like to You?
What makes the elegant stinkhorn so unique is its shape and coloring. There are some that resemble a carrot growing out of the soil, and there are also some that resemble something a little more naughty. Without being too blunt about it, can we all agree that this particular kind of stinkhorn definitely has a phallic quality to it? And can we all agree that it's okay to giggle at that fact?
Why Does a Stinkhorn Stink?
It seems like just about everything that happens in nature happens for a reason - and that is certainly the case with stinkhorn mushrooms. The reason for the stink comes down to survival. A-Z-Animals.com explains...
The reason that stinkhorns smell so bad is that they need to attract insects in order to spread. Often smelling like feces or decay, stinkhorn fungi release this odor into the air so that flies, drawing bugs to them. Once the insects arrive, the spores from stinkhorns attach to them, making it easy to propagate and spread stinkhorns throughout a garden or backyard.