Time-lapse photography is a wonderful device, letting us humans escape our own time-bound world to perceive life as experienced by slow-moving creatures, and to marvel at the stars wheeling above us. I’ve found some remarkable videos of mushrooms going through their growth period. Click here, here, and here, and enjoy!
Paul Stamets is a world-renowned mushroom expert (or mycologist, to use the scientific term). He has spent decades researching ways mushrooms can (in his term) “save the world.” Sound like an exaggeration? He works in numerous areas that should interest all of us, First, medicinal mushrooms that create antibiotics and fight flu viruses. Second, bioremediation (using living organisms to clean up our chemical and radiation messes). In six weeks, a mushroom-inoculated pile of diesel and petroleum waste turned into hundreds of pounds of oyster mushrooms. Third, repelling pests such as termites. There's even more, and you can see it here.
The most memorable thing he says in this talk is this: “The Earth invented the computer Internet for its own benefit.” (That is, to make it possible for people to communicate to save the earth. As you and I are doing right now!). Isn’t it mind-blowingly fun to look at ourselves not as the top creatures, but as partners?
I’m no mushroom expert, and I started this article to show you the magical videos. But if even part of what Stamets has found about the power of mushrooms is true, maybe there’s hope for people and planet.