Imagine that you are walking through the forest as night falls. It is getting darker now and you can hear the sounds of insects. You also hear some strange noises, which you can’t identify. “What was that?”, you whisper under your breath.

You decide to light your way. You pull out your flashlight, torch, or headlamp … or perhaps your MUSHROOM? Yes, that’s right! In a forest region in Northeast India, locals use glowing mushrooms to light their way through the dark.

Watch this video to see them glow!

Key points:

  • This recently described mushroom is bioluminescent – it glows in the dark.
  • This glow-in-the-dark mushroom grows on dead bamboo.
  • It has been given the scientific name Roridomyces phyllostachydis.
  • It is found in the forests of Meghalaya in Northeast India.
  • Only about 100 types of fungi are known to emit light.
  • Many more species of fungi are probably out there to discover!

What is bioluminescence?

Bioluminescence is the emission of light by living organisms (organism (noun): an individual plant, animal, or single-celled life form like bacteria or yeast). A chemical reaction within an organism creates the light. Some other bioluminescent organisms include glow-worms, jellyfish, lantern fish, fireflies, and some bacteria.

To learn more, read the original article published on Mongabay India:

(Grade 5+ reading level)