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Post: Scientists Discover Two New Species of Hallucinogenic Mushroom

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Scientists Discover Two New Species of Hallucinogenic Mushroom


Scientists have discovered two new species of hallucinogenic mushrooms in southern Africa.

A team of researchers found that the fungi represent members of the genus (group of species) Psilocybe, although they differ from any of their closest relatives that were already known to science, a paper published in the journal Mycologia .

The Psicolybe genus contains around 140 species, including some of the most well-known and comprehensively studied psychoactive mushrooms. Many members of this group produce a compound known as psilocybin—in addition to similar substances—that produces psychedelic effects when consumed by humans.

Psilocybe mushrooms are found in a wide variety of climates around the world, growing on a host of substrates, such as soil, wood and manure. Despite this, only a handful of the known species are indigenous to Africa—the latest study takes the total to six.

"Although it is not rare to find new African mushrooms, it is relatively rare to find new Psilocybe mushrooms, as these are always of interest to amateur and trained mycologists," Breyten van der Merwe, a mycologist and study author with the Department of Microbiology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, told Newsweek .

The two new species described for the first time in the study have been named Psilocybe ingeli and Psilocybe maluti respectively.


DiscoveriesGet lost in a world of wonderExplore the mysteries and marvels of science and the universe. I want to receive special offers and promotions from NewsweekBy clicking on SIGN ME UP, you agree to Newsweek’s Terms of Use & Privacy Policy . You may unsubscribe at any time. Images of Psilocybe maluti (left) and Psilocybe ingeli (right). The species belong to the genus Psilocybe, which contains some of the most well-known psychoactive mushrooms. Psilocybe ingeli was originally found in 2023 growing in pastureland enriched with bovine manure in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa by self-taught citizen mycologist Talan Moult, who is one of the study’s authors. Exclusively Available to Subscribers Try it now for $1 "The diminutive size and hemispheric cap of the mushroom did not match the description of any known South African mushroom," the authors wrote in the study.Read more Magic […]

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