One homeowner from eastern Washington was left dumbfounded after the discovery of some small, spherical objects in their garden.
They took a picture after their morning find and posted it to the r/whatsthisbug subreddit to try to get some answers.
“[Are they] eggs? Found these in the garden this morning,” they captioned the image.
The little ball-like mysteries were found among the soil in clusters, and a couple of Redditors were quick to crack the case.
As the University of Florida explains, the fungi has little to do with birds or nests. They are actually closely related to the fungi you would find at the local grocery store, such as button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, or shiitake mushrooms, despite a drastically different appearance.
However, since the physiological effects of the fungi on humans have never been tested, it’s wise not to include them in your recipes.
Bird’s Nest Fungi (Nidulariaceae). These odd fascinating little fungi look for all the world like tiny birds’ nests. Credit: Steve Axford pic.twitter.com/cVzoNwkOwz— J Evans (@Distinctboxes) December 3, 2017
They are all among an order known as Agaricales, which includes gilled mushroom species, and are often found on soil, mulch, woody debris, and logs, with some even found on animal dung.
While the type found in this garden were ball-shaped, the University of Florida noted they can also form in the shape of cups or inverted cones.
Oh my goodness – I've always wanted to spot these, and today I found a whole flowerbed full! Bird's nest fungi! 😍 pic.twitter.com/EKH5o0E65a— Hannah Hulbert ✍️ (@hhulbert) November 5, 2022
Fortunately, bird’s nest fungi are not considered a danger to humans or animals, and it plays a key role in natural ecosystems by recycling nutrients in soil and helping in the decomposition of plants.
But they are difficult to remove, so the University of Florida advises homeowners to keep mulch at least a foot away from the house.
While the Redditor may want to keep an eye on the growth of the unusual-looking fungi, at least they are satisfied with the knowledge of exactly what is thriving on their garden’s soil.
“Thank you! I think you’re right! Solved,” they commented.
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