A study reveals that mushrooms (the above-ground fruit of fungi) are great communicators. When the hyphae (long, thread-like structures that form the mycelium or root network) of a wood-digesting fungi came into contact with wood, they lit up with spikes of electrical signals that reached out to the hyphae of other fungi, suggesting that fungi may use electrical transmissions to share information about food or injury.

To measure spikes in signal activity, tiny electrodes were connected to the hyphae of four fungi species ghost, caterpillar, split gill and enoki. Spikes varied in duration and length, with some lasting up to 21 hours. The clusters of electrical spikes resembled a human vocabulary of up to 50 ‘words’. However, only 15 to 20 fungal words are used frequently. The average length of each word was 5.97 ‘letters’; the English language averages 4.8 letters per word. Split-gill mushrooms produced the most diverse ‘sentences’.

While the research shows that fungi produce patterns of electric signals, there’s no way to tell what they are talking about. Comparing the electrical impulses to human speech is notable, but some researchers say that it requires more research.

Picture Credit : Google 

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