Armillaria ostoyae — commonly known as a honey fungus — is the name given to the fungal species of the largest living thing in the world.
If you go to Malheur National Forest in Oregon, USA, you’ll be able to see it.
It exists mostly underground, with its roots covering 3.7 square miles, but the fruiting bodies — in other words, the mushrooms — that pop up out of the ground are easily able to be spotted.
Don’t eat the mushrooms though, unless you know what you’re doing, because they’ve been known to cause stomach pains in some people.
They are technically edible, if you cook them well, however.
The Armillaria ostoyae is sometimes also called Armillaria solidipes by botanists and scientists.
But you don’t need to know that to appreciate the beauty and sheer size of the living organism.
Because of its huge heft, it has been nicknamed the “humongous fungus”!
In fact, it is said to weigh between 7,500 and 35,000 metric tons.
That is roughly equivalent to the weight of somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 African elephants.
If that isn’t impressive enough, let’s put it another way: it’s the size of around 20–80 blue whales!
And blue whales are the heaviest animals that have ever lived on our planet — they’re even bigger than the biggest dinosaurs.
So any of the most fearsome animals on Earth would pale in comparison to this mushroom-sprouting monster!
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