Mycena lucentipes, which literally means "glowing stem," are bioluminescent fungi whose stems glow so brightly that they illuminate the caps as well, creating the illusion that the entire mushroom is glowing in the dark. There are more than 60 species of bioluminescent fungi species, and the M. lucentipes is one of the brightest-glowing species.
Discovered in 2006 in São Paulo, Brazil, by researchers from Brazil’s Institute of Botany, the mushrooms are believed to glow to attract nocturnal insects and animals that can aid in spore dispersal. In the daylight, the mushrooms are a bland brown and tan color, but when night falls, their continuous bioluminescent glow shines through.
Credit: Cassius V. Stevani |Chemistry Institute, University of Sao Paulo