Meet Spongiforma Squarepantsii, the SpongeBob SquarePants Mushroom

June 17, 2011

Behold spongiforma squarepantsii, a just-discovered species of fungus that San Francisco State University researchers named after cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. Unlike its animated namesake, the SpongeBob SquarePants mushroom was discovered on a tree in Sarawak, Malaysia. What cemented its moniker, however, was the fungus' spongelike appearance and its ability to return to its original size after being squeezed.

When it's wet and moist and fresh, you can wring water out of it and it will spring back to its original size," explained Dennis Desjardin, a researcher at SFSU. "Most mushrooms don't do that."

Desjardin and his colleagues published their findings in a paper called "Spongiforma squarepantsii, a new species of gasteroid bolete from Borneo" that was published online in the journal Mycologia on May 10, 2011.

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