Why Did the Fungi Leave the Party?
Because there wasn't mushroom.
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Mushrooms use up to 50 “words” to communicate with each other.
Do you speak a secret language with a friend or family member? Maybe it’s a Pig Latin variant (ery-vay ool-cay). Perhaps it’s an inside joke that makes you laugh hysterically while other people stare in horror.
Whatever your language is, you’re probably not far off from mushrooms.
A research team put tiny electrodes into a field full o’ fungi (a fabulous band name) and measured the electric activity that resulted.
Through previous studies, researchers had already learned that fungi can conduct electrical impulses through long underground filaments known as hyphae. But this study discovered that the method of communication with mushrooms — the distribution of their “fungal word lengths” — is very similar to that of humans.
The researchers saw spikes in electric activity, with the clusters resembling as large as a 50-word vocabulary.
Lead researcher Andrew Adamtzky said the language could be used to share information about food or injury, either among other fungi or with hyphae-connected organisms like trees.
Adamtzky then broke our hearts by positing an alternate theory: “There is also another option – they are saying nothing.”
You can read the full research report in Royal Society Open Science here. I know I was very much like the below gif while reading it, but maybe you’ll have better luck.
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