Would you believe that the largest organism in the world is a mushroom? It is 2.4 miles wide and covers an area the size of 1,665 football fields. It is found in the Malheur State Forest in Oregon. DNA analysis of the samples from trees in the forest found that they all came from a single organism. The fruiting bodies are called honey mushrooms, which are edible.1
People have been fascinated by mushrooms throughout history. At times, there was a mysterious element to this fascination. Mushrooms have also been despised, kicked around the trails in the forest, and regarded by some people with trepidation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased interest in foraging has also resulted in increased interest in mushrooms. As people learned more about mushrooms, some of their mystery has decreased. Now we are finding voluminous information about mushrooms, especially those wild edible ones.
Mushrooms, of the kingdom Fungi, are important in forest ecosystems. Saprophytic mushrooms return nutrients to the soil by breaking down dead trees. Mycorrhizal mushrooms help the roots of trees obtain nutrients from the soil. Mushrooms can break down toxins, help boost our immune systems, and have been found to cure certain ailments and reduce tumor growth. Eighty to ninety percent of trees and grasses would not survive without mushrooms.2 Mushrooms also come in all colors of the rainbow. They are a wonderful sight to see, especially on the forest floor. Mushrooms are an important source of food for animals and humans.
Mushrooms renew old growth after breaking down dead trees, thereby making room for new growth. Mushrooms revive the forests, since new growth makes for healthier forests. Mushrooms help restore forests to their pristine beauty by decomposing dead trees and returning their nutrients to the soil.
When we accept Christ’s gift of salvation, we are renewed spiritually. Our relationship with Him is revived in preparation for the final restoration of His character and His image in our lives. Our bodies and very lives which were marred and made imperfect because of sin will be restored into His perfect image when He comes back in the clouds.
Call to Action: Prayer
Dear Jesus, help me to accept Your wonderful gift of salvation. Please cleanse my heart so that I will be renewed and revived spiritually, and prepare me for the restoration of Your character within me.
- Vince Patton, Oregon Field Guide, “Oregon Humongous Fungus Sets Record as Largest Single Organism on Earth,” https://www.opb.org/television/programs/oregon-field-guide/article/oregon-humongous-fungus/.
- Lumen Waymaker Module 6: Fungi: “Decomposers and Recyclers,” https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-biology2/chapter/decomposers-and-recyclers/.