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Scientists discover rare glowing mushrooms

In an amazing finding, scientists have discovered rare glowing mushrooms in Meghalaya state of India.

According to the details, a team of scientists from India and China, after hearing the story “electric mushrooms”, embarked on a fungal foray in Assam.

In search of glowing mushrooms, they arrived in West Jaintia Hills District in Meghalaya. In a drizzly night, a local person guided the team to a bamboo forest, which is part of a community forest, and asked them to switch off their torches.

A minute later, the scientists were mesmerized by what they saw, in the midst of the darkness an eerie green glow emerged from dead bamboo sticks that were smothered in tiny mushrooms. The fungus emits its own light. One among the world’s 97 glowing species.

The “electric mushrooms” were so bright that local residents used the glowing mushrooms as natural torches to navigate the forest at night.

Upon closer observation, the scientists noticed that only the stipes (stalks) of the mushroom lit up and they suspected it could be a new species. A detailed examination in the laboratory had confirmed their suspicion, it was a new species from the genus Roridomyces—and the first fungus in this genus to be discovered from India. This species was only found growing on dead bamboo (Phyllostachys mannii).

The new species named Roridomyces phyllostachydis was first sighted in August near a stream in Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong in East Khasi Hills district and later at Krang Shuri in West Jaintia Hills district. It is now one among the 97 known species of bioluminescent fungi in the world.

During the two-week tour, the scientists were surprised to observe the vast diversity of fungi in the region and some of which were new to science.

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