Devils Fingers

May 06, 2022

 

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Photographer: Mila Zinkova

Summary Author: Mila Zinkova  

Devil's Fingers (Clathrus archeri) fungus is described as looking like an alien creature that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie. Usually observed in deciduous forests, the striking Clathrus archeri gives the appearance of long red “fingers” emerging from a partially buried white ball. This has led to multiple different names used to describe this fungus, including Devil's finger fungus, Octopus stinkhorn and Helicopter stinkhorn.

Clathrus archeri reached Europe from New Zealand or Australia around the time of WWI. It’s thought to have traveled via war supplies or perhaps in wool, having first been observed in Europe around 1914. In 1982 it was also found in California, where it may have been transported with bamboo or other exotic plants. Click here to see a video of this fungus.