The Obvious Explanation For the Mushroom Growing Out Of A Living Frog 

mushroom growing out of a live frog

The viral images of a mushroom growing out of a live frog have stumped researchers. Don’t worry, it’s probably not a The Last of Us scenario.

The viral images of a mushroom growing out of a live frog have stumped researchers. Don’t worry though, it’s probably not a The Last of Us scenario, despite what the Internet is saying.

This cute frog with a mushroom sprouting out of its side has been picked up by most major outlets and continues to baffle researchers, although the phenomenon could have a very simple explanation.

Photographs by Lohit Y.T

“When I first observed the frog with the mushroom, I was amazed and intrigued by the sight,” said Lohit Y T, a rivers and wetlands specialist with World Wildlife Fund-India in Bengaluru, one of the researchers that discovered the frog. He was part of a group of researchers who, when they met the frog in June 2023, decided not to interfere with it – just to document the curious, never-seen-before phenomena of fungi growing out of a live animal.

Since then, multiple researchers have thrown around theories about how a mushroom could live on a live animal.

Alyssa Wetterau Kaganer from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine says that fungi are dynamic organisms that may grow in places “we haven’t previously expected”, and thinks a healthy frog could in theory develop and live with a fungal infection that looks like a regular mushroom.

The likelier and more obvious explanation?

 Karthikeyan Vasudevan, chief scientist for the Laboratory for the Conservation of End, gave CNN a more plausible scenario:

“But one of the possibilities is that there is a small piece of woody debris under the skin of the frog after it got lodged in the skin and it has sprouted a mushroom from it,” he said.

Unfortunately, the same report reveals that India is currently going through an epidemic of chytridiomycosis, a fungal infection that can kill more than 700 species of amphibians. Fortunately, the mushroom in these pictures are not related to this disease though it’s impossible to tell what will happen next, as the researchers didn’t capture the affected frog for further studying.

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