Colorful, Mystical And (Sometimes) Fatal: 31 Photos Of The World’s Coolest Mushrooms

Published July 14, 2015
Updated February 26, 2018

Giant mushrooms were peppered throughout the planet before trees. These 'shrooms have since shrunk, but we still think they're pretty cool.

Coolest Mushrooms

Favolaschia calocera

While few of us are actually mycologists–or the super niche-y group of people that study fungi–mushrooms have long captivated the attention of humans, be it through their use in religious ceremonies (some ancient rock art shows what appears to be hallucinogenic mushroom use in the Sahara desert around 9,000 years ago!), childhood books–or just as a catalyst to write some truly bizarre music.

While comparatively diminutive today, there was even a time in which it was mushrooms–and we’re talking massive, 24-feet-tall and three-feet-wide mushrooms–that covered the Earth, not trees. Fast forward 350 to 420 million years, and though these ‘shrooms have shrunk substantially, they still maintain their coolness. We provide you with some of our favorites below:

Coolest Mushrooms Cyathus
Cyathus striatus

Coolest Mushrooms Hydnellum
Hydnellum peckii

Coolest Mushrooms Deceiver
Amethyst Deceiver

Coolest Mushrooms Leratiomyces
Leratiomyces mushroom

Panus Fasciatus
Panus fasciatus

Coolest Mushrooms Amanita
Amanita muscaria

Mycena Chlorophos
Mycena chlorophos

Coolest Mushrooms Rhodotus
Rhodotus palmatus

Coolest Mushrooms Crepidotus

Coolest Mushrooms Lepiota
Lepiota mushroom

Porcelain Fungus
Porcelain Fungus

Puffball Mushroom
Puffball Mushroom

Puffball Exploding
An exploding puffball mushroom

Phallus Mushroom
Phallus indusiatus

Marasmius Haematocephalus
Marasmius haematocephalus

Scutellinia Scutellata
Scutellinia scutellata

Coolest Mushrooms Chorioactis

Coolest Mushrooms Geastrum
Geastrum minimum

Coolest Mushrooms Clathrus
Clathrus archeri

Morchella Esculenta
Morchella esculenta

Coolest Mushrooms Clathrus
Clathrus ruber

Coolest Mushrooms Mycena
Hairy mycena

Snail Mushroom
A snail perches atop a mushroom.

Coolest Mushrooms Aseroe
Aseroe Rubra

Schizophyllum Commune
Schizophyllum commune

Golden Mushrooms
Tiny golden mushrooms

Toothed Mushroom
A "toothed" mushroom

Coolest Mushrooms Coprinus
Coprinus comatus

Coolest Mushrooms Frog
A frog in a cup mushroom

Coolest Mushrooms Cup
Cup mushroom

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.