Fungi May ‘Talk’ to Each Other

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Recent studies suggest that certain fungi species can communicate with each other in ways not too dissimilar to human speech patterns.

Fungi are sometimes regarded as a “mix” between a plant and an animal, being in a kingdom of its own. Fungi include a diverse range of differing species, from mushrooms to slime molds to baking yeast. 

The study was conducted by Prof. Andrew Adamatzky, a computer scientist at the University of West England. He had originally conducted a study in 2018 on oyster mushrooms, discovering that the species could emit pulses of energy. It was thought that this energy may be used by the fungi to transmit information between themselves. 

A more recent study by Adamatzky may have possibly confirmed that suspicion. By examining four separate fungi species (Omphalotus nidiformis, Flammulina velutipes, Schizophyllum commune, and Cordyceps militaris), and analyzing energy spikes produced by them, scientists have noticed patterns interpreted to be “words”. Roughly 50 unique “words” have been identified though their meanings go unknown.

Although the exact reason mushrooms would need language in the first place is unclear, Adamatzky theorizes it is to maintain “integrity” among the fungi, comparing the pulses to wolves howling to strengthen bonds within their pack. It has been  acknowledged the energies may have nothing to do with communication whatsoever, though the patterns seen are most definitely not a coincidence. Future research will perhaps shed more light on this fungal enigma.