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That's one humungous fungus.
April 26, 2007 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Prototaxites, what is it? Is it wood? Is it algae? Why, it's a humungous fungus. Scientists were long baffled by the mystery organism, which was recently verified to be a 350 million year old fungus that stood more than twenty feet tall. It doesn't look like much in the hands of Geologist Kevin Boyce, but the far sexier artist's rendering gives you a better idea of what an odd geological bird Prototaxites was.
posted by The Straightener (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Borked link :(

I said, it's a HUMUNGOUS FUNGUS.
posted by The Straightener at 11:07 AM on April 26, 2007


Among us?
posted by psmealey at 11:29 AM on April 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


BWAHAHAHAHA. Haha. Heh. Sooooo, anyway.
posted by The Straightener at 11:33 AM on April 26, 2007


A little olive oil, some balsamic, rosemary, salt and pepper... fungalicious!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2007


The answers are John Belushi, John Candy, and Prototaxite.

Q: Can you name 3 extinct humungous fungi(s)?
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Awesome. It's like a cross between a sex toy and a screenshot from Myst.
posted by aparrish at 11:58 AM on April 26, 2007


God, what I wouldn't give for the chance to walk around on that early Earth.
posted by saladin at 12:00 PM on April 26, 2007


And to think that peasant at the checkout didn't know what one was when I asked.
posted by Abiezer at 12:03 PM on April 26, 2007 [7 favorites]


wow, Abiezer. beautifully done.
posted by lapolla at 12:10 PM on April 26, 2007


"No longer do you need to pay separately for a dildo and a mushroom!"

Also: there should be a joke about sex toys and mushroom soup, but I can't seem to make my brain go there right now.
posted by LMGM at 1:08 PM on April 26, 2007


That's way cool. Bizarre, and so cool that we know about this thing. (Although I have to say, the question "fungus or lichen?" rarely gets my blood flowing faster. The context has to be juuuust right.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:21 PM on April 26, 2007


How long until Monsanto brand Prototaxite shows up at Safeway?
posted by luriete at 1:33 PM on April 26, 2007


You know who else liked ginormogantic prehistoric fungi?
posted by Mister_A at 1:54 PM on April 26, 2007


That fungus made me feel funny......in my pants.
posted by Wonderwoman at 1:58 PM on April 26, 2007


The other night I shot a twenty-foot-tall fungus in my pajamas!

Well what was he.... oh, never mind.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:01 PM on April 26, 2007


Mister_A - Cthulhu isn't a Mi-Go ally - they thought bitter wars in prehisoty, as cronicled by the pnaktonic manuscripts and the carving of the Elder Things in Kadath.
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on April 26, 2007


Wow, I wonder what kind of biological differences this had from modern fungi? It must have been different somehow, because modern fungi are not at all configured for long-distance nutrient and water transfer. This thing must have had some sort of internal structures not dissimilar from xylem and phloem inside a tree.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:13 PM on April 26, 2007


The answers are John Belushi, John Candy, and Prototaxite.
Q: Can you name 3 extinct humungous fungi(s)?


You forgot Chris Farley, BBB, but I'm glad you picked Candy ahead of him. But I digress.
posted by wendell at 4:14 PM on April 26, 2007


Now that's a sh'room with a view!!
posted by Megafly at 4:21 PM on April 26, 2007


Aw, 350 million years old is pretty old...I guess. For a dildo.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:49 PM on April 26, 2007


Was anyone else reminded of Nausicaa?
posted by suedehead at 5:38 PM on April 26, 2007


This thing must have had some sort of internal structures not dissimilar from xylem and phloem inside a tree.

If that's the case, wouldn't it have had to had large, leafy structures for transpiration? I'm not qualified at all to say the illustration is wrong, but I'm willing to ask if it is.
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:29 PM on April 27, 2007


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