creepy mushroom top

For some reason Japan has an affinity for strange mushrooms. There’s the classic weird mushrooms in the Mario games, mushroom anime, and of course cute-girl mushroom smartphone games.

But let’s not forget the abundance of crazy, real-life mushrooms in Japan too. One Japanese Twitter user recently stumbled on one so bizarre-looking that he had to post pictures and ask the internet to help him figure out what the heck it was. Just one glimpse will make you see that when it comes to mushrooms, sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.

First, here is the tweet from @Plaster_wall that had Japanese Twitter users scratching their heads:

▼ “I found some sort of monster mushroom.”

That thing looks likely to bite your foot off if you step on it. There’s no denying its creepiness, with its tendril-like body and flesh color, but at the same time it’s kind of pretty in a way. If it was a solitary pink blooming flower in the middle of the woods, no one would have a problem with it, so what’s really so wrong here?

@Plaster_wall explained in another tweet how he came upon the monster mushroom:

▼ “There were a bunch of flies gathered around so I thought maybe something had died. I went to investigate and it was all red, so I thought it was an animal corpse. But then I got closer and I didn’t know what to think. For a second I thought it was a star-nosed mole, but those don’t even live in Japan.”

For reference, here’s what a star-nosed mole looks like. Pretty uncanny if you ask me.

Thankfully a mushroom expert showed up to set everyone straight.

▼ “It’s a red aseroe arachnoidea (squid mushroom) for sure. It’s a rare species that might not be on your prefecture’s regional red list of endangered species.”

After a flurry of excited tweets, it was discovered that red squid mushrooms were listed as “nonexistent” in Saga Prefecture, where the picture was taken. Only regular squid mushrooms (typically white) were listed, meaning that this may be the first discovery of the red variety in Saga Prefecture.

▼ The red variety, though more beautiful, looks like less of a squid than the white ones.

Apparently squid mushrooms only bloom for a little while, so the discoverer was even more lucky to happen upon it when he did. Here’s a video showing what one of these things opening up like a zombie hand reaching out of a grave:

Well I’m just glad this all ended with us learning something about mushrooms, rather than someone getting eaten alive by an alien fungus.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve come across in the woods? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Twitter (@Plaster_wall) via togetter
Featured/top image: Twitter (@Plaster_wall)