Popular Science

This fungus has over 23,000 sexes and no qualms about it

Sex is extra strange if you're a shroom.
schizophyllum commune

Relationship status: It's complicated.

Fungi don’t abide by gender constructs. They live uninhibited (albeit unconscious) lives, mating freely with almost any other member of their species. In short, they’re wonderful.

One particularly promiscuous mushroom, known scientifically as (and affectionately as “schizo”), looks deceptively mundane. It’s a form of wood rot that lives in parts of the East Indies, Thailand, India, Madagascar, and Nigeria, where plenty of people eat it—despite many Western guidebooks classifying the shroom as “inedible.”

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