8 Hypnotic Timelapse GIFs Show How Mushrooms Grow


Mushrooms grow at rapid rates, quickly bursting up out of the ground and reaching full size in as little as one night. Unless you sit and watch a mushroom for many hours it’s hard to see just how quickly this fungus can grow. These time-lapse GIFs are perfect at putting the amazingness of it all into perspective.

Mushrooms are made up of around 92% water, and die away just as suddenly as they appear. The mushroom we see is only part of the entire being. The actual mushroom cap is the short-lived fruit of a much more hardy organism.

Beneath the soil sits the mycelium, or the root of the mushroom, which can live for years, hence why you will see mushrooms popping up repeatedly in the same places. Check out these hypnotic time-lapse GIFs to see how incredible it is to watch mushrooms grow.


Photo Credit: WANDERMENT


Photo Credit: youtube.com

A mycelium can fit inside a tiny ant infected with parasitic fungi, or a mycelium can grow to stretch over a mile in length. Regardless of its size, you will never know a mycelium is there until it sprouts a mushroom puffball above the soil surface.

More than 80% of all earthly plants have a mycorrhizal relationship with fungus. The underground mycelium nourishes nearby plant roots and in return the plant lends valuable nutrients to the mycelium.


Photo Credit: BBCWorldwide

The reason mushrooms are able to appear literally over night is because they store up an abundance of nutrients between each fruiting, many mycelium fruit as little as once a year. Yet there is more to the rapid development of mushrooms than this.

Plants and animals grow via cell division, a slow process that requires a lot of time and energy. A mushroom also grows by cell division, but not in the same way. Right when a mushroom first appears it has about the same exact number of cells as it will have at peak maturity.

Mushrooms grow through cell enlargement, a process that allows the cells to rapidly balloon in size all at once. Since the cells fill with water it takes very little time, hence how a mushroom can go from a tiny dot to a full grown mushroom in one night.


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Many fungi produce a cell wall made of chitin, the same material that coats the outer shell of insects. This sets fungi even further apart from plants, which cannot produce chitin.

Mushrooms can produce vitamin D with sunlight exposure, just like your skin. Interestingly, if you leave a mushroom in the sun for eight hours it generates 4,600 times the vitamin D!  Mushrooms also have a built in immune system, and are more similar to humans than plants in regard to DNA.


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There are over 1.8 million different species of fungi, and some 80,000 have yet to be identified. This particular GIF shows a Veiled Lady Mushroom, a unique mushroom that looks like it is formed from lace.


Photo Credit: BBCWorldwide

The lace catches your eye, but the magic behind this mushroom is in its less ostentatious cap. The greenish-brown cap on the top of the mushroom is filled with spores and slime. The slime attracts flies, which then disperse the spores wherever they fly next.

The Veiled Lady Mushroom is found in Asia, America, Australia, and Africa. It is a delicious and edible mushroom, and is a healthy addition to many Chinese dishes.


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Photo Credit: Adam4nt

Want to see more awesome mushrooms? Check out: The Mystical World Of Mushrooms Captured In Photos