The World’s Largest Organism Is Living In This Forest, But It’s Not What You Think

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at 2015.10.12
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Some stunningly huge creatures have lived on the earth over the course of history. Dinosaurs, prehistoric sharks, and even modern whales dwarf humans in size. But do you know what the largest living organism on this earth is right now? (It”s not what you think.)

The biggest living thing on this earth is actually a fungus. Its underground network of roots, the “Humongous Fungus,” is one of the largest living things on the planet. There is one specimen of Humongous in particular that stretches 2,200 acres, or about 3.4 square miles.

The Malheur National Forest holds the largest single specimen of Armillaria ostoyae fungus. It has been growing for the past 2,400 years.

The Malheur National Forest holds the largest single specimen of <em>A</em><i>rmillaria ostoyae</i> fungus. It has been growing for the past 2,400 years.

This single organism covers a significant amount of forest, most of it living below the surface.

This single organism covers a significant amount of forest, most of it living below the surface.

Unfortunately, this giant fungus is basically killing the forest it lives in. It eats at the roots of the other organisms, and soon, it will all just be one heap of mushroom.

Unfortunately, this giant fungus is basically killing the forest it lives in. It eats at the roots of the other organisms, and soon, it will all just be one heap of mushroom.

This kind of fungus is extremely hard to eradicate. It can withstand almost any chemical treatment.

This kind of fungus is extremely hard to eradicate. It can withstand almost any chemical treatment.

Although it is destroying other lifeforms, this mushroom is incredible. It even has a pretty, natural bioluminescence, like something out of Avatar.

Although it is destroying other lifeforms, this mushroom is incredible. It even has a pretty, natural bioluminescence, like something out of <i>Avatar</i>.

Could this be the actual Mushroom Kingdom that one tiny Italian man excavates on many a video game adventure? Probably not, but still pretty wild.

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