When you are asked, “What is the largest living thing on earth?” the
first thing that inevitably comes to mind are whales but you cannot be
It’s a mushroom.
And this mushroom is not even a rare one. It is likely that you have
already encountered honey fungus in your own backyard in an old
But for your sake, just hope that it won’t grow as large as the one
found in Malheur National Forest in Oregon. This is because the
mushroom there covers around 890 hectares and it is estimated to be
between 2,000 and 8,000 years old. You won’t see it completely though
because most of it is found underground in the guise of a large mat of
mycelia. The tentacle-like mycelia spreads throughout the tree rots
and kills the trees. It peeps up from the soil in the form of
innocent-looking honey mushrooms.
The giant fungus in Oregon was originally thought to be separate
clusters that grow throughout the forest. However, researchers have
discovered that it is actually the world’s largest organism found
under the soil.