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Don't Eat Random Mushrooms in the Woods

Tree Huggers’ nature guide Brad Einstein helps us identify a few mushrooms you might encounter in the wild.

Video Transcript

BRAD EINSTEIN: Of all the plants, animals, and flirty inbetweeners that call the forest home, none are more beautiful and nauseating than mushrooms. 

Fun thing about mushrooms is two mushrooms can look exactly alike and have drastically different effects. So if you're not an expert, it's kind of a Russian roulette about whether you're getting a tasty treat, a terrific trip, or a toxic ticket to the grave. 

The common mycena is most often found on trees in the northern hemisphere unlike the common John Cena that's most often found in children's hospitals. This is russula vesca. Its nickname is the flirt because if you pick one in the wild you are flirting with death. This is called turkey tail fungus, which much like an actual turkey's tail is technically edible but hella gross. 

This next one is called witches' butter, which is also the name of a lube you can buy at Hot Topic. This is a mushroom called the artist's conk, which you can identify because it resembles one of those hip, trendy, floating bookshelves that you would buy at a store that was also called the Artist's Conk. And finally this is a yellow aminata, which, yes, will take you on a revelatory hallucinogenic journey that deepens your understanding of the world and yourself. Though keep in mind you might start pulling a Haley Joel Osment and start seeing dead people. 

Seriously we can not stress enough. Do not eat mushrooms that you just find. Take it from us, comedians who make sketches in the woods. We have never done it, and it wasn't awesome.