Mother Nature never ceases to astound us with her abundance of wonders, from the majestic giant bats soaring over the sky to the scary “snakes” lurking in the trees.
This is the case with Regan Daniels, a proud North Carolina native, and his astounding discovery.
Daniels created a global phenomenon by sharing her incredible collection of photographs on the renowned Mushroomcore Facebook page.
In the summer of 2020, Regan Daniels strolled through the beautiful forests located in western North Carolina. She had no idea she was about to witness a truly riveting performance that would leave her breathless.
Daniels promptly grabbed her camera, inspired by the strange sight before her, wanting to capture the essence of this peculiar phenomenon.
She shared the photos with the Mushroomcore group, which has over 30,000 members, eager to share her incredible experience.
The Mushroomcore group, accustomed to gorgeous woodland scenery and insightful botanical intricacies, were taken aback when the focus of their debate moved to a specific subject.
What is the source of their fascination? Daniels’ images portray the fascinating Dead Man’s Fingers fungus, technically known as Xylaria polymorpha.
With their bloated and black “fingers” extending upward, these strange fungi rightly acquired their horrific moniker by imitating a person hopelessly seeking to emerge from their earthly corpse.
“Saw this Dead Man’s Fingers, fungus that I literally thought was a Halloween decoration!” cried Regan in her post. This fungus’s striking appearance is unusual, but many people are unaware of its year-round presence.
These mushrooms can be found worldwide but are most common in the United Kingdom, Ireland, continental Europe, and certain parts of North America. As a result, with a trained eye, one may spot these swollen and wart-covered “fingers” amid nature’s nooks and crannies.
Those who want to see these strange treasures should look for them on decaying stumps or rotting wood, especially on broadleaved trees like beech trees.
Dead Man’s Fingers frequently emerge through layers of moss and rotting leaves because the fungus only lives on dead or dying wood—an essential factor adding to their ghostly presence. According to First Nature, Xylaria polymorpha is often not considered edible, limiting its culinary possibilities.
Regan Daniels discovered these creepy clusters of mushrooms while exploring a North Carolina park, unknowingly adding them to her intriguing collection.
Surprisingly, these spooky sculptures were accompanied by a group of fellow mushrooms of the same species coming from a decaying stump.
Despite some critics doubting the legitimacy of the images, claiming they were edited, it is critical to underline that these mushrooms are real. Countless intriguing photographs have been discovered online to support the existence of these one-of-a-kind animals.
“I found the mushroom in Western North Carolina in the USA at a park that I frequent,” Regan explained to Bored Panda. He continued, adding, “The walk is nice [and] it’s close to the French Broad River, so there’s a lot of good scenery.”
Although her finding occurred in a well-known region, the examples she discovered appeared to be exceptionally well-preserved.
Due to its frightening appearance, only some people would dare to handle or consume the Dead Man’s Fingers fungus, resulting in its mostly unknown presence.
This forced neglect permits these magnificent examples to remain immaculate and awe-inspiring in the wild.