Is it weird I’ve been planning a mushroom-themed reading list for a long time? Probably. But mushrooms are intriguing. What other substance on earth is sustenance, poison, psychedelic drug, medicine and delicacy? There are approximately 1.5 million kinds of mushrooms (I Googled it). They survive via underground communication networks called mycelium. The biggest recorded mycelium is over 2,000 acres across, in Oregon. In the following five pieces, you’ll meet foragers, hikers, researchers, anthropologists, drug dealers and puppies. You’ll have a newfound appreciation for the men and women who devote themselves to studying these weird, wild fungi.

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