Those magical little red and white toadstools which pop up seemingly out of nowhere, are just the fruit of the fungus, the living body is hidden under the soil, in wood or other food sources. Underground is a mycelium made from a web of tiny filaments called hyphae - some can branch out as much as 1km a day. Until the mycelium produces fruiting bodies, the fungus remains hidden from our sight.
They are the vital decomposers in the ecosystem, breaking down dead organisms and biological waste, freeing nutrients for use by other organisms and clearing away their remains. And fungi, unlike bacteria, can continue to function in temperatures as low as -7 degrees.
On an average, about eighty-five BILLION tons of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide is returned annually to the atmosphere mainly by fungi.
Hat throwing fungi distempers and ejects their spores at a remarkable speed which is 100 to 200 times faster than the speed of sound. Human eyes are unable to detect the speed of fungi spores ejection with unaided eyes.
In the Italian University of Torino they have found a way to use fungus to strip iron from asbestos so that it is no longer carcinogenic.
In the Patagonian rain forests of South America, there is a fungus called Gio cladium roseum that grow inside Ulmo trees and produces a number of hydrocarbons and their derivatives. This fungus eats cellulose - stalks, sawdust and wood chips and produces diesel fuel and more efficiently than any other known method, according to researchers.
I can't help wondering about the wild possibilities in this seemingly unlimited kingdom ... the yet-to-be-discovered wonders ... that are quietly, unnoticed, fulfilling their purpose.
I love every little detail of a life cycle that disposes of rubbish while providing the exact nutrients that are needed for the ecosystem. I love that it all goes on quietly, largely unseen but absolutely vital to a healthy environment. What a picture of God at work in our lives – largely unseen until the fruit appears.
This hidden kingdom reminds me of a quote by CS Lewis, " We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with him. He walks everywhere incognito."