Monday, 12 January 2015

The Larget Living Thing on Earth - a Fungus!

If you were asked what the largest living thing was what would you guess?

The Blue Whale? 

A Canadian Redwood?

The Blue Whale IS pretty big at 24m in length and its tongue alone is the size of an African Elephant. Canadian Redwood trees are huge at 100m in height but neither come close to the current largest living thing on earth!

You might think fungi are pretty small and certainly the mushrooms and toadstools we often see growing in the ground are only a few cm across however those are just the fruiting bodies - the equivalent of an apple on a tree. The vast majority of a fungus is far bigger and grows unseen underground - but perhaps we didn't appreciate just how much bigger it is until recently.

A single individual Armillaria solidipes has been found to be 3.8km across!!!

Note not meters, kilometers!

Armilliria solidipes

Now that's one big mushroom!

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