24 February, 2020

    Devil's cigar is the strangest mushroom in the world that can whistle

    Can you imagine a mushroom that can make sounds? Not weak sound waves, distinguishable only with the help of special devices, but a quite noticeable whistle that any person hears. This mushroom is called the cigar of the devil, and at some point in his life he is able to whistle.

    The Devil's cigar, or, as it is also called, a Texas star, has the scientific name Chorioactis geaster. These strange mushrooms grow in only two places on the planet. This is the US state of Texas and the Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu. Devil's cigar is exactly the American version of the name, and in Japan the mushroom is called Kirinomitaki. The mushroom prefers to settle on old stumps or dead roots of deciduous trees. In North America, he prefers to settle on elms, and in Japan he can be found in the forests where oaks grow.

    The young mushroom has a brown color and the shape of an elongated pod, therefore, in some ways it resembles a cigar, for which it got its name. After the mushroom ripens, it opens, throwing a cloud of spores into the air. This process is accompanied by a distinct hissing or whistling sound, and after opening the mushroom takes the form of a flower with 5-7 petals.

    It is interesting that, despite the many places similar in their natural and climatic parameters to Texas or the Japanese islands, these mushrooms are not found anywhere else in the world. Scientists who have carried out a genetic analysis of these two populations have come to the conclusion that these "mushroom families" split up about 19 million years ago or even earlier.

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