Rare Luminescent Mushrooms Re-Surface After 170 Years

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Some enterprising US scientists have re-discovered an elusive glow-in-the dark mushroom that was last seen 171 years ago. English Botanist George Gardner stumbled upon it in 1840, when he noticed some young Brazilian boys playing with a glowing object - Since then, the fungi have been impossible to find.

It is only thanks to the sheer determination of a team of researchers from California's, San Francisco State University that it was even discovered again. Using digital cameras to help cover a wider area, Dennis Desjardin and his colleagues had to go through the snake and jaguar infested Brazilian forests in the middle of the night, to seek out this elusive mushroom.

While the team first spotted the Neonothopanus gardneri in 2009, the discovery was only revealed recently after some more samples were found and further tests could be done to confirm that they were the same species discovered by George Gardner.

Though the mushrooms standout in the dark of the night, they apparently glow 24-hours a day, as long as, there is ample water and oxygen available. Scientists are not sure why these mushrooms glow - Some believe it may be to attract insects that can help in dispersing their spores. Whatever the reason is, they sure look cool, don't they?

And, this is not the only species of mushrooms that emanate this alien-like glow - There are many other mushrooms that that have been found in forests ranging from Japan to Puerto Rico. However, none of them have been as elusive as the Neonothopanus gardneri - Which is what makes this discovery extra special. Who knew mushrooms could be so much fun!

Resources: livescience.com, io9,com

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