What is the Largest Living Thing on Earth?

You’re probably thinking about the Blue Whale. But no, the blue whale is not the largest living thing on Earth. It’s not even close.

The largest thing on earth is actually a…….

It’s a mushroom!

And it’s not even a rare one. You’ve probably got the Honey Mushroom or Honey Fungus (Armillaria ostoyae) in your garden, growing on a dead tree-stump. For your sake though, let’s hope it doesn’t reach the size of the largest recorded specimen, in Malheur National Forest in Oregon.

The humongous honey mushroom in Oregon covers a mind boggling 890 hectares (2,200 acres). It is between 2,000 and 8,000 years old. Most of the huge mushroom is underground in the form of a massive mat of tentacle-like white mycelia (the mushroom’s equivalent of roots) which means that you cannot see it in its full glory. The mycelia of the mushroom spread along tree roots, thus killing the trees and peeping up through the soil occasionally as innocent-looking clumps of honey mushrooms.

Initially, the giant honey fungus of Oregon was thought to grow in separate clusters throughout the forest. However, researchers have now confirmed it is the world’s single biggest organism, connected under the soil.

Other Interesting Reads