Nature has a never-ending supply of surprises for us to uncover. Among the elements of nature, a mushroom – the reproductive structure of fungi – might seem too ordinary. However, the amethyst mushroom is a one-of-a-kind beauty that looks like an entire galaxy. A whole galaxy in a mushroom! Sounds amazing, right?
The Amethyst mushroom or Elaeomyxa Cerifera shimmers in bright purple with touches of blue and green. The fruiting structures of this fungus cut open to release spores that shine like a mini disco ball. The shine is actually more of a slime mold that forms after the release of the spores.
It was first discovered in 1942 and is found in Tasmania. If you ever visit Tasmania, you’ll find them on large logs or stumps covered in leafy liverworts and moss.
Come across them once, and you’ll surely fall in love with them. One person who did is scientist Sarah Lloyd. She first spotted them on her property and instantly became enchanted by the beauty of this brilliant species of mushroom. She has been inquiring about the types of mushrooms around the world ever since. After years of researching and photographing, she is now a proud owner of a collection of matchboxes containing around 1,700 varieties of fungi species.
The photographs are evidence of their extravagant beauty. It is exceptionally difficult to come across one by accident in a lifetime. But if you do visit Tasmania in search of them, make sure to take the right equipment with you and look in the right place. Moreover, make sure not to confuse it with the Amethyst Deceiver mushroom, scientifically known as Laccaria amethystine. They are not the same.