Imagine walking into your backyard and seeing this grotesque figure nestled in your grass…what would you do?! The Clathrus archeri aka Devil’s Fingers is one of the most bizarre mushrooms you will EVER come across.
Native to New Zealand and Australia, Clathrus archeri is also known as devil’s fingers. It is what’s known as a phalloid fungus.
What truly makes this mushroom unique (besides it’s terrifying looks) is the way it is grown, as it comes from an egg sack instead of sprouting from the Earth….but you haven’t seen the grossest part yet!
These gag-worthy tentacles begin to grow as the mushroom matures, causing it to look like an alien that was left behind by it’s mother ship. THIS is the stage where people who have these growing in their backyard begin to panic…and so would we!
As it matures, the sack is breached by a number of terrifying red tentacles. At first glance,they look like some kind of demon reaching up from the underworld, but they’re actually totally benign.
The four arms are coated in a sticky, strong-smelling tissue meant to attract flies. However, the fungus is not carnivorous. Instead, it contaminates the flies with its spore, turning them into agents of dispersal.
The other members of the Clathrus genus are just as fascinating. There’s theClathrus ruber, which expands into this amazing latticework structure…
…And another cousin, the Pseudocolus fusiformis, which looks like the progeny of some horrifying squid monster.
Watch this bizarre time-lapse video to see ‘hatching’ process!