This Fungus is Known As ‘Dead Man’s Fingers,’ And It Is Quite Disturbing

It’s easy to see why Regan Daniels of North Carolina shared a few images of a fungus that looked like a dead

man’s toes to the Facebook group Mushroomcore.

Image credits: Regan Daniels


Take a closer look…

Image credits: Regan Daniels

Some individuals naturally yelled “fake” right away, but Daniels reassured everyone that it wasn’t the case.

Image credits: Plant & Tree Lovers

We can fairly conclude that she shouldn’t be discounted after seeing the mushrooms from a

different viewpoint that reveals their upward growth.

Image credits: Regan Daniels

Even if they were good, Dead Man’s Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha) mushrooms are quite widespread

in Britain and Ireland. All over the continent of Europe and in several regions of North America.

They develop all year long at the base of tree stumps; the majority are made of beechwood, however

occasionally they also grow on other buried hardwoods. The fruiting body of the mushroom typically

appears as tufts of three to six “fingers,” many of which are twisted and resemble arthritic black knuckles.

Image credits: Regan Daniels

Daniels found the fungus growing from a stump that was surrounded by other mushrooms

that looked identical to it. The fact that the fungus isn’t typically thought of as food may be one of the

reasons it has survived, even in a well-known location.

There is, of course, another explanation. Would you ever eat the toes of a dead man?


A troop of dead man’s fingers, all pointing in the same direction. Image credit: Aaron Pomerantz

Even if they were tasty.

Jelly ear fungus

Image credits: teacher400

mage credits: Björn S…


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