Mushrooms are delicious, they're a great source of vitamin B, niacin and riboflavin, but some fungi are deadly when ingested and many look wicked creepy when you see them growing in the wild.
The mushrooms known as "Dead Man's Fingers" (Xylaria polymorpha) look like zombies clawing their way out of their graves, which is a fitting look for a killer 'shroom:
“Dead Man’s Fingers” are unsurprisingly as bad as they sound. And not because ingesting them will result in a long strange trip, but because the appearance of this fungus at the base of a tree means that it is quite literally breaking down the structure of the tree which results in soft rot. In other words, Dead Man’s Fingers (aka Xylaria polymorpha) are tree-murdering mushrooms though it is said that they are edible. Good luck with that.
"Dead Man's Fingers" are pretty creepy but not as gross and disturbing as this monstrosity:
The Hydnellu peckii is called the "Bleeding Tooth" mushroom for obvious reasons, and yet despite its icky appearance these mushrooms contain a useful chemical called atromentin:
The Bleeding Tooth secretes a dark red liquid which as you may have guessed, makes it appear to be “bleeding.” The non-toxic fungus is quite useful as it possesses the naturally occurring chemical, atromentin which is said to work quite well as an antibacterial and anticoagulant. (It’s a dessert topping and a floor wax.)
And to finish off the zombie mushroom menagerie we have the Gyromitra esculenta, or "Brain" Mushroom, because what are zombies if not lovers of fresh brains?:
Gyromitra esculenta or “Brain” mushroom is somewhat common fungus, and highly toxic. But that doesn’t stop people from eating them despite the risks associated with ingestion that include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, dizziness and sometimes (though rarely) coma and death. Brain mushrooms are quite popular in Finland and are sold with extensive warning labels because even boiling them in water will causes the chemical gyromitrin (the stuff that might kill you in a Brain mushroom) vaporize which can make you sick just by breathing too much of it. Yikes