Mushrooms are commonly spotted in the array of vegetables sold in the winter season. From a hearty mushroom soup, to creamy mushroom sauce and even the all-time favourite mushroom matar - there are a number of recipes that utilise it as an ingredient. Indian farmers grow and cultivate several hundred different varieties of mushrooms across the country. But did you know there also exists a variety of 'glowing' mushrooms in India? In a recent development in the scientific world, a group of scientists from India and China have discovered a new species of glowing mushrooms in Meghalaya, India.
This phenomenon of a living organism producing or emitting light of its own is known as 'bioluminescence'. The new variety of mushrooms was found in the East Khasi hills in Meghalaya after local residents cited instances of 'electric mushrooms' being spotted in the area. This is the first time that such a bioluminescent mushroom species has been discovered in India.
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According to the official research paper published by the team of scientists, bioluminescent organisms are commonly found in the ocean environments but sometimes can also be found in terrestrial terrains. The colour of the light emitted by the organisms depends upon their chemical properties. The Indian mushroom discovered by the research committee emits a greenish light, and has been scientifically named as Roridomyces phyllostachydis.
While investigations are ongoing to figure out why exactly these unique mushrooms glow, popular theories suggest that it could be to attract insects and keep animals from consuming them. Scientists also suggest that India could be home to many more such bioluminescent mushroom varieties, which are waiting to be discovered by the scientific community.