The Devil’s Fingers fungus is one mushroom you won’t want on your pizza. If the looks don’t get you, the smell of rotting flesh will.
The Devil’s Fingers fungus is a mushroom that is also known as the Octopus Stinkhorn. It is indigenous to New Zealand and Australia.
That probably doesn’t come as a surprise, since this area of the world is known for nature’s oddities.
While this species is native to the Land Down Under, it has been introduced through spore-spread to Europe, North America, India, and South America.
The Octopus Stinkhorn is a member of a larger group of stinkhorns that develop similarly throughout the environment. According to Wikipedia, they all tend to start as “fruit bodies [that] originate as a gelatinous, spherical, or egg-shaped structure that may be completely or partially buried underground.”
The Octopus Stinkhorn starts as an egg-looking plant that lives underground until it’s time to reproduce. That’s when the nasty Devil’s Fingers begin to sprout and grow.
It ends up producing a fly-attracting spore that smells like rotting, putrid flesh.
Makes you want lunch, doesn’t it?