Rebecca Vineyard
Updated Sep 05, 2016 @ 1:13 pm
Credit: Youtube

We’re going to take a wild guess here and assume most of you hadn’t seen fungus hatch. It’s even less likely you’re aware of devil’s finger fungus (Clathrus archeri) but if you’re wondering, it basically looks like something from Stranger Things took psychedelic drugs. Thanks to Nerdist, though, you can see this weird fungus hatch.

If that’s really something you think you can handle, because it is CREEPY

Devil’s finger fungus is native to Australia and New Zealand (of course) and it basically looks like a large, milky egg until it’s time for fruiting. Then, the orb tears open, unleashing eight red arms — that look more like monster tentacles, tbh — out of the “egg” and into our nightmares.

Obviously, devil’s finger fungus is frightening to behold, but its creepiness is due to its method of reproducing. Each of its arms are laced with tissue that smells pretty disgusting to people, but attracts flies and other insects. When these creatures come to feed on the slimy, stinky tissue (ugh), their feet get coated in the fungus’ spores.

Which is, when you think of it, TOTALLY an alien thing to do.

When the insects leave, they take the spores with them, allowing another disgustingly fascinating life cycle to begin.

This tactic in employed by other stinkhorn fungi, cause yeah, there are more of these charming things. They belong to the order of Phallales, and not all of them look like alien octopi- though most of them do look scary and/or weird.

Credit: Giphy

Surprisingly, the devil’s finger fungus is safe to eat (information we’re not sure anyone needed, but there you go). Apparently it’s unpleasant (no surprises there), because the texture is rather gelatinous but in theory you could do it, if for some reason you absolutely had to.

We would like to know EXACTLY who figured this out, btw.

Credit: Pixar/Giphy

However, that’s not the case with all stinkhorn fungi, so maybe err on the safe side and don’t try it.