Fungi are an incredibly diverse group of organisms that play a vital role in many ecosystems.
They are essential to the functioning of many ecosystems because they are responsible for breaking down dead plant and animal material, which helps to recycle nutrients back into the soil. Additionally, many species of fungi form symbiotic relationships with plants, helping them to absorb nutrients and defend against pathogens.
Fungi are also important for medicine and industry. Many species are capable of producing antibiotics and other chemicals, and they are used in the production of enzymes and other biotechnology products.
The largest living organism on Earth is a fungus, the honey mushroom (Armillaria ostoyae) that covers 2,200 acres of land in Oregon, USA. The organism’s underground mycelium spreads for miles, killing trees as it goes.
Fungi are mysterious, ancient, and alien entities that have existed for eons, far longer than humans have. Often beyond the limits of human understanding, they have immense power and intelligence, and whilst some are indifferent to humans, a few are hostile.
Some species have evolved to develop the ability to manipulate, control or even devour humans, either through physical or psychological means. They infect and control the minds of their victims, turning them into monstrous creatures, or else physically consume or absorb humans, and even entire cities.
Whilst only some of the above is true, there’s no doubt that fungi are a powerful symbol of decay, rot, entropy, and existential alien horror. They represent the fate of all living things—the eventual return to the earth.
There are few other organisms that scream cosmic horror quite as loudly.
The top fungi of cosmic horror:
In “The Whisperer in Darkness” the fungi come from outer space and are capable of controlling the minds of humans.
The Last of Us
Cordyceps is a real-life genus of fungi that infects insects and other arthropods, taking control of their behaviour and ultimately killing them.
The Barrowthwaite mould is only one manifestation of the cosmic entity. There are others, so be warned.
Read Recursion here.