Mycena lux-coeli – The Coolest Mushroom I Have Ever Seen

Can you imagine a salad full of these?  It would be the trippiest salad you have ever seen:

glowing_mushrooms

What you see here is a Mycena lux-coeli mushroom, which grows in Japan during the rainy season on fallen Chinquapin trees.  This species is exhibiting a quality called bioluminescence, which stems from a reactive protein or pigment in the plant.  These mushrooms, which the local folk refer to as shii no tomobishi-dake (an almost literal translation of “chinquapin glow mushrooms”) give off light when a chemical called luciferin gets oxidized, which makes the luciferin emit visible light – greenish-white visible light.  That’s not an evil-sounding pigment, is it?  Funny enough, in Latin, lucifer means “light giver.”  Who would have known!

Like other fungi that grow in damp conditions, Mycena lux-coeli is no different – it seems to flourish in the wet forests on the fallen trees, but unfortunately only lasts a few days and dies once the rain stops.

Nature, you are awesome.

Mycena-lux-coeli-mushrooms

mycena_lux-coeli

Thanks, Pink Tentacle and ZipcodeZoo!

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