These Are Not Human Body Parts – Just Plants and Fungi
Halloween is just a few days away and if you celebrate the holiday you have probably decorated your house/office and are shopping costumes. However, even if you don’t celebrate it, you would agree with us that these little miracles of nature look creepy and disgusting. These plants and fungi come out looking like human bits every single time.
1 Bleeding tooth fungi
Just the idea of a bleeding tooth sends shivers down the spine. But actually, these aren’t anything else but fungi that look a little different than what we are used to. The hood of Hydnellum pecki comes in various shapes, and when it oozes a red, sticky substance, it could easily be mistaken for a bloody tooth dropped on the ground. The substance is sap, forced out of cap’s pores during the night by excess moisture that builds up in the roots. This only happens when the fungus is young. Another name for Hydenellum pecki is “strawberries and cream,” but don’t eat it. While it is not poisonous, the peppery, bitter taste makes it inedible. The fungus also absorbs from the environment the heavy element cesium-137, a radioactive isotope that could be toxic at sufficient levels.
2 Doll’s eye
Sounds creepy, doesn’t it? Poisonous? Oh yes. They have a cariogenic toxin that immediately sedates the cardiac muscle of the heart. Ingestion of them could lead to a heart attack and even death. The black spot or pupil of the eye is a scar created by the pointed end of the stalk early in the berry’s growth. Each berry has several seeds, and most birds are immune to the toxins. The birds ingest the berries and spread the seeds through their feces. The leaves, stems, and roots—and even the white, lacy flowers—can all cause skin blisters on contact. If ingested, they cause intestinal inflammation. In sufficient amounts, every bit of doll’s eye can kill a human.
3 Snapdragon Seed Pod
Antirrhinum majus is an annual flower with dragon-like jaws that snap when the sides are squeezed. It’s believed that the snapdragon was originally a wildflower in Spain and Italy, and it has several legends associated with it. One of them is that if a person conceals the flower on their person or in a room, they will appear fascinating to other people. Another legend has it that any house with snapdragons growing in its flower bed will be free of curses and witchcraft. Any woman who eats Antirrhinum majus will have lifelong beauty and usefulness, say the legends. This, however, is dangerous since every part of the snapdragon is poisonous. In late summer, the petals of the blooms wither and die, revealing green seed pods underneath. Over the next month, the pods turn brown and dry until they burst open, scattering the seeds. Frequently, the seeds fall out through three holes at the bottom of the pod, and look like human skulls.
4 Devil’s fingers mushroom
Clathrus archeri, or better known as devil’s fingers or octopus stinkhorn, is one creepy looking mushroom. In its mature form, it has four to eight fingers as red as a fire engine with black spheres that resemble suction cups on an octopus’s tentacles. These black spheres are gleba, which emit a rancid smell reminiscent of rotting meat. This attracts flies, which disperse the plant’s spores. The smell explains the “stinkhorn” part of its name. Like all stinkhorns, devil’s fingers start life in a white, partially buried, egg-like bulb. When it bursts from the bulb, the fingers are white and look like a corpse’s hand and sleeve rising from the grave. Eventually, the fingers stand erect, rising to 10 centimeters in height and spread out to 20 centimeters in width. Although it is not toxic, it smells terrible which would refuse any human to eat it.
5 Wood ear
Auricularia auricula has jelly-like flesh and a cupped, reddish-brown, ear-shaped body. It has small and very fine hair, and the surface is irregularly veined. They usually grow in groups on rotting or living trees. It has a similar shape to the cup fungus, but this one is rubbery, not brittle. The wood ear has been shown to decrease a person’s cholesterol and reduce blood coagulation. Since it’s a popular delicacy in Japan and China, it may contribute to the low incidence of heart disease there. The Chinese call the wood ear “meat without bone” and have been eating it for medicinal and culinary reasons for at least 4,000 years. A serving of 100 grams of dried wood ear has 11 grams of protein, 65 grams of carbohydrates, virtually no fat, and plenty of iron and calcium. The Chinese use wood ear for everything from hemorrhoids to lung infections.