I gotta be me: A giant, GIANT fungus among us

The world’s biggest fungus, discovered in Oregon’s Blue Mountains in 2001, is challenging traditional notions of what constitutes an individual. The underground fungus–estimated to be between 2000 and 8500 years old–is also deepening our understanding of the ecosystem, with possible implications for the management of Canadian forests, according to a paper by the discoverers. The clone of Armillaria ostoyae–the tree-killing fungus that causes Armillaria root disease–covers an area of 9.65 square kilometres, about the size of 6000 hockey rinks or 1600 football fields.