So, what do you call a mycologist that likes to throw wild parties? A real fun guy! BaDUMP-bump. Ok, that’s my lame mushroom joke.
If I was to name a band, I would call it the Invincible Army of Darkness. Sounds like the name of a band you would just love to see, right? Who wouldn’t want to see that band? How about Destroying Angel? Sounds totally metal, doesn’t it. Too bad you can’t name your band that, because it is taken. Not only is it the name of some band, it is also the name of a kind of mushroom. Why is it called a destroying angel? Because, unless you get to a hospital fast, it will fucking kill you. In fact, I strongly recommend not even touching anything that even remotely looks like one, better to be safe than sorry.
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning appear usually between 5 and 24 hours of ingestion.[ii] They include vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, and convulsions.[iii] All in all, not a very fun time. The poison works by destroying your liver and kidneys. There is treatment,[iv] but get to a hospital as immediately when you begin to experience symptoms, or sooner. Sooner is better, always better.
These things are all white and have what is called a ‘universal veil’,[v] which is a cup-like structure at the base of the mushroom.[vi] In fact, anything with a universal veil will kill you,[vii] so don’t fucking touch them, EVER!!! Even though the poison works by ingestion, I still will recommend not even touching them in case, you accidentally put a little in your mouth after you touched the mushroom.
There are several kinds of destroying angel mushrooms, all have the characteristics I mentioned. One species does live here: the Eastern North American Destroying Angel.[viii] (Amanita bisporigera) They like mixed broadleaf and coniferous forests, and are quite common.[ix] They have a relationship with trees[x] in which they trade off nutrients for carbohydrates.[xi] This particular species can get quite large, they can row to be anywhere between 2.5 and 8 inches long, and the cap can be up to almost 4 inches across.[xii] Not all get that big of course.
These are not the only type of poisonous mushroom found here, there are many. But they do have by far, the coolest name. As for the band, I looked them up on Youtube, and they kinda sucked. Nowhere near as metal as I had hoped, in fact, not metal at all.
24 July 2017, Emily Still-Working-On-A-Pen-Name