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Oregon’s monster mushroom is world’s biggest living thing

05/07/2012

The largest living organism ever found has been discovered in an ancient American forest.

The Armillaria ostoyae, popularly known as the honey mushroom, started from a single spore too small to see without a microscope. It has been spreading its black shoestring filaments, called rhizomorphs, through the forest for an estimated 2,400 years, killing trees as it grows. It now covers 2,200 acres (880 hectares) of the Malheur National Forest, in eastern Oregon.

The outline of the giant fungus stretches 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) across, and it extends an average of three feet (one metre) into the ground. It covers an area as big as 1,665 football fields.

In 1992, another Armillaria ostoyae was found in Washington state covering 1,500 acres, near Mount Adams, making it the largest known organism at the time.
»The Independent

[youtube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI9y38_2_YY]

[youtube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY]Armillaria ostoyae fungi mat in East Oregon, presented by mycologist Paul Stamets at the March 2008 Ted conference.

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