Tuesday 2 August 2011

Fomitiporia ellipsoidea, A Really Massive Fungus

Image by Dr. Yu-Cheng Dai,
featuring small fragments of the gigantic whole. 
Fomitiporia ellipsoidea is a fungus that is found in China. It's a bracket fungus, which means the fruiting body grows like a shelf instead of on top of a stalk. It's also brown, woody and tough, so it really is like a shelf.

A very spacious shelf indeed.

While it was first discovered in 2008, a new specimen has been recently found and immediately crowned with the much sought after "Biggest Fruiting Body in the World" award.

The thing is massive!

10.85 metres (35.6 ft) long, almost 90 cm (3 ft) wide and about 5cm (2 in) thick. That's a big shelf. Maybe even a bed. A long bed upon which about 5 people could sleep in single file. If they wanted to.

Apparently, the fruiting bodies have no smell or taste, so if you did want to have a nap on one you'd only have to contend with the stench of the rotting wood it's feeding on. The really big one was found on the underside of a huge, fallen log, providing it with all the food it needed to grow increasingly astonishing.

It's estimated to be around 20 years old, contain about 450 million spores and weigh about half a tonne. So definitely sleep on it and not under it.


Not my normal posting day but I just had to!


TexWisGirl said...

'definitely sleep on it and not under it' :) fun guy fungi...

Emily said...

Wow, it looks like some kind of stone!

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: Hehe! :D

@Emily: I know! It makes him look very strong.

Crunchy said...

There is a humongous fungus among us!

Sorry, had to be done.

Joseph JG said...

Hahaha! You know, now that I've seen it, I agree. It HAD to be done.