Most people consider mushrooms to be the small, ugly cousins of the plant kingdom, but theirs is a surprisingly beautiful and wonderful world waiting to be explored. These beautiful mushrooms, captured by enthusiastic nature photographers, are a far cry from the ones you find in the woods or your local grocery store.

Most mushrooms, as we know them, are actually just the reproductive structure of the fungus they belong to – their fungal networks expand far further underground, and some fungi don't even sprout the sort of mushrooms that we're used to seeing. In fact, depending on your definition of “organism,” the largest living organism in the world is a fungus – there's a honey mushroom colony in Oregon that occupies about 2,000 acres of land!

#1

Puffballs

Puffballs

Martin Pfister Report

HollyMason
Community Member
5 years ago

I stepped on one last week in sandals! The cold yellow powder spraying on my foot definitely made me a little more cautious walking around!

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#2

Mycena Chlorophos

Mycena Chlorophos

Steve Axford Report

gabrielaalmaraz
Community Member
5 years ago

wow el color lindo fluorecente

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#3

Marasmius Haematocephalus

Marasmius Haematocephalus

Steve Axford Report

МладенВеликов
Community Member
5 years ago

Look like umbrellas. :)

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#4

Rhodotus Palmatus

Rhodotus Palmatus

unknown Report

gabrielaalmaraz
Community Member
5 years ago

este color siempre es lindo me encanta

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#5

Phallus Indusiatus

Phallus Indusiatus

Bart Wursten Report

AnnariDuPlessis
Community Member
5 years ago

Nice skirt :)

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#6

Schizophyllum Commune

Schizophyllum Commune

Steve Axford Report

gabrielaalmaraz
Community Member
5 years ago

bonito tiene su propio plumaje

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#7

Amethyst Deceiver

Amethyst Deceiver

Eric Balcon Report

SusannaVesna
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow, never saw violet mushrooms before!

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#8

Panus Fasciatus

Panus Fasciatus

Steve Axford Report

NancyGooch
Community Member
5 years ago

These all remind me of Disney's Fantasia. Ethereal and beautiful!

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#9

Clathrus Ruber

Clathrus Ruber

Patricia Woods Report

TinaRowden
Community Member
5 years ago

I didn't know those were mushrooms!

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#10

Porcelain Fungus

Porcelain Fungus

Bernhard Pfister Report

orenji
Community Member
5 years ago

Straight out of Avatar...

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#11

Cup Fungus

Cup Fungus

Megan Lorenz Report

KitsuneOdagiri
Community Member
5 years ago

it's cute, like in fairy tales

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#12

Lepiota

Lepiota

Andres Miguel Dominguez Report

JanMcKeel
Community Member
5 years ago

Other worldly!

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#13

Leratiomyces

Leratiomyces

Steve Axford Report

gabrielaalmaraz
Community Member
5 years ago

wow fabuloso la naturaleza es maravillosa

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#14

Hydnellum Peckii

Hydnellum Peckii

H Richard Ellis Report

JenaLeeCoburn
Community Member
5 years ago

Scary looking shroom !

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#15

Favolaschia Calocera

Favolaschia Calocera

Bernard Spragg Report

YvonneDavis
Community Member
5 years ago

Spongiform.

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#16

Cyathus Striatus

Cyathus Striatus

Steve Axford Report

gabrielaalmaraz
Community Member
5 years ago

la veo espectacular

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#17

Coprinus Comatus

Coprinus Comatus

Steve Greaves Report

IpivanderErve
Community Member
5 years ago

When young, no open hood, you can eat them. They taste good.

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#18

Mushrooms With A Snail

Mushrooms With A Snail

Mariana Armata Report

CharlotteWolfe
Community Member
5 years ago

Gorgeous

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#19

Geastrum Minimum

Geastrum Minimum

Juan Carlos Poveda Molero Report

TinaRowden
Community Member
5 years ago

They almost look like a decoration.

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#20

Aseroe Rubra

Aseroe Rubra

Mark Watson Report

gabrielaalmaraz
Community Member
5 years ago

pequeno pulpo se ve muy lindo

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#21

Morchella Esculenta

Morchella Esculenta

Wojciech Grzanka Report

FionaMunn
Community Member
5 years ago

Yummmm

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#22

Puffball Mushroom

Puffball Mushroom

Roeselien Raimond Report

VesselinaMartinova
Community Member
5 years ago

Very handy mushroom. If you pit it on a bleeding wound it stops the bleeding with an antiseptic effect.

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#23

Crepidotus

Crepidotus

Steve Axford Report

KristenHz
Community Member
5 years ago

I am beginning to think that mushrooms are the equivalent of sea anemones on land.

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#24

Tiny Golden Mushrooms

Tiny Golden Mushrooms

Maneesh Report

MariaCetrola
Community Member
5 years ago

Each one is more beautiful than the last. Absolutely love them all.

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#25

Chorioactis

Chorioactis

Report

janiemar
Community Member
5 years ago

looks like coconut shells

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#26

Hairy Mycena

Hairy Mycena

Steve Axford Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

These are tentacles wearing hats! YOU LIED!!!

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#27

Amanita Muscaria

Amanita Muscaria

unknown Report

Anejo Conejo
Community Member
5 years ago

They believe that people ate magic mushrooms and thought these were what is now 'Santa Claus' and that reindeer could fly.

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#28

Cup Fungi

Cup Fungi

Steve Axford Report

KristenHz
Community Member
5 years ago

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.

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#29

Laccaria Amethystina

Laccaria Amethystina

Tatyana Bulyonkova Report

#30

Illuminated Mushroom

Illuminated Mushroom

Bernhard Pfister Report

FernandoLlodraBelda
Community Member
5 years ago

the alien penis

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#31

Tiny Orange Mushrooms

Tiny Orange Mushrooms

Report

#32

Entoloma Hochstetteri

Entoloma Hochstetteri

New Zealand Wild Report

Jolayne Copper
Community Member
3 months ago

Now that is straight outta "Avatar"!

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#33

Lactarius Indigo

Lactarius Indigo

unknown Report

LindaCruz
Community Member
5 years ago

My new satellite dish

#34

Mycena Viscidocruenta

Mycena Viscidocruenta

Arthur Chapman Report

AC Balanlayos
Community Member
5 years ago

cherries!

#35

Cyptotrama Aspratum

Cyptotrama Aspratum

Steve Axford Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

This looks like it's made of fire.

#36

Black Fungus

Black Fungus

Steve Axford Report

AstridWijnand
Community Member
4 years ago

looks like black kale chips

#37

Panaleous Sphinctrinus

Panaleous Sphinctrinus

Report

Kyle Eaton
Community Member
5 years ago

Such simple mushrooms, but its the background that really catches the eye.

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#38

Toothed Mushroom

Toothed Mushroom

edupic.net Report

ErikMalave
Community Member
5 years ago

Lion's Mane

#39

Clavaria Zollingeri

Clavaria Zollingeri

David Bosworth Report

Kyle Eaton
Community Member
5 years ago

Looks like firesticks! (a bush like plant)

#40

Parasola Miser

Parasola Miser

Juan Carlos Poveda Malero Report

Kyle Eaton
Community Member
5 years ago

Upside down flower!

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#41

Oudemansiella Mucida

Oudemansiella Mucida

Tony Kav Report

AnejoConejo
Community Member
5 years ago

These remind me if when Ace Ventura has a drum solo. Lol

#42

Chlorociboria

Chlorociboria

Steve Axford Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

Beautiful tree cups.

#43

Illuminati

Illuminati

www.flickr.com Report

ACBalanlayos
Community Member
5 years ago

haha.nice name.mushroom in hoodies!XD

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#44

Entoloma Hochstetteri

Entoloma Hochstetteri

Ivan Richard Report

JimEyre
Community Member
5 years ago

Is this taken in NZ?

#45

Clathrus Archeri

Clathrus Archeri

Angel Paz Report

JennyJones
Community Member
5 years ago

seriously? Alien tentacles.

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#46

Coprinus Cordisporus

Coprinus Cordisporus

Debbie Grant Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

Snail umbrellas?

#47

Stemonitis Axifera

Stemonitis Axifera

Steve Axford Report

atagonist
Community Member
5 years ago

That is actually a slime mold, related to amoeba rather than to fungi. They're pretty crazy organisms.

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#48

Xylaria Hypoxylon

Xylaria Hypoxylon

Report

Annie Doneva
Community Member
5 years ago

That's a damn great shot !!!! About the mushroom - no words needed....

#49

Octopus Stinkhorn (Devils Fingers)

Octopus Stinkhorn (Devils Fingers)

Bite Your Bum Report

YanetLorenzo
Community Member
5 years ago

Creepy!!

#50

Clavaria Zollingeri

Clavaria Zollingeri

Report

LeeHwang
Community Member
5 years ago

some of these are utterly creepy. But so beautiful to look at *0*

#51

Scutellinia Scutellata

Scutellinia Scutellata

Steve Axford Report

John Buryiak
Community Member
2 years ago

Orange pudding.

#52

Laccaria Amethystina

Laccaria Amethystina

Roland Botterman Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

Brainy Mushroom!

#53

Bay Bolete

Bay Bolete

Report

AnnieDoneva
Community Member
5 years ago

Stoenescu, all your photographs are so beautiful. And every time I see one I can tell that it's yours, without seeing your name under it.

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#54

Helvella Lacunosa

Helvella Lacunosa

Damon Tighe Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

I can see a face in there... Can you?

#55

Wonderland Mushroom

Wonderland Mushroom

Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

That is pretty.

#56

Marasmius Rotula

Marasmius Rotula

Rich Saidak Report

shroomed
Community Member
5 years ago

These remind me of jellyfishes (: So cute

#57

Cookeina Tricholoma

Cookeina Tricholoma

S Glenum Report

Oğuz Yalın
Community Member
5 years ago

cocaine? :3

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#58

Mycena Chlorophos

Mycena Chlorophos

Zongk Ye Quek Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

More snail umbrellas!

#59

Purple Mushrooms In The Woods

Purple Mushrooms In The Woods

Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

I imagine a village of mushroom people.

#60

Morchella

Morchella

Report

Kirk Davis
Community Member
3 years ago

Are these fire morels?

#61

Hexogonia Artemisia

Hexogonia Artemisia

Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

They look like compound eyes.

#62

Entoloma Hochstetteri

Entoloma Hochstetteri

New Zealand Wild Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

Nature is mysterious.

#63

Helvella Leucomelaena

Helvella Leucomelaena

Juan Carlos Poveda Molero Report

Thegreatcountryofverden
Community Member
2 years ago

They look like pots

#64

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Report

KristenHz
Community Member
5 years ago

you sure that's not lichen?

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#65

Amanita Muscaria

Amanita Muscaria

Lyudmila Kravchenko Report

#66

Auricularia

Auricularia

Steve Axford Report

#67

Plectania Campylospora

Plectania Campylospora

Steve Axford Report

#68

Morchella Rotunda And Clathrus Ruber

Morchella Rotunda And Clathrus Ruber

Juan Carlos Poveda Malero Report

#69

Sarcoscypha Occidentalis

Sarcoscypha Occidentalis

Anna Report

#70

Lycoperdon Perlatum

Lycoperdon Perlatum

Report

QuanTom
Community Member
5 years ago

fungilicious

#71

Russian Muhomor

Russian Muhomor

www.bankoboev.ru Report

Annie Doneva
Community Member
5 years ago

These (or similar) are what they draw and talk about in children's fairytale :)

#72

Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii

Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii

Steven Severinghaus Report

MelissaApple
Community Member
5 years ago

Haha!

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#73

Pearls

Pearls

Report

#74

Boletus Edulis

Boletus Edulis

Report

Cherry Rice
Community Member
3 months ago

yum!

#75

Yellow Mushroom

Yellow Mushroom

Google-Flickr Report

#76

Purple Amanita

Purple Amanita

Delyth Angharad Report

Andreea Gherman
Community Member
3 years ago

It totally looks like a purple geode! 💜

#77

A Giant Among Us!

A Giant Among Us!

TakeninTamanNegara,Malaysia Report

#78

Amanita Muscaria

Amanita Muscaria