There Are Actually Several Very Deadly Types Of Fungi In The World, Here Are Some That Will Haunt Your Dreams

    Aspergillus is a fungus that is so common that apparently "somewhere between 100 to 300" of its spores actually get in our lungs every day. 🙃

    If you're one of the millions of people who've been watching HBO's latest hit, The Last of Us, then you'll probably agree with me when I say, "new fear unlocked," thanks to all the talk about deadly fungi.

    Of course, the mysterious zombie-creating fungi on the show are fictitious (as far as we know *nervous laugh*), but that got me wondering about what kinds of deadly fungi ACTUALLY exist in the world. Here's what I found...

    1. Mucormycetes is a type of fungi that can cause a rare, but deadly, infection called mucormycosis or "black fungus."

    Photomicrograph Reveals A Number Of Young Sporangia Of A Mucor Spp. Fungus.

    According to Bloomberg, mucormycosis "killed more than a third of people who got it."

    Mucormycosis written newspaper close up shot to the text

    The article, from October 2022, continued to explain that, "the pathogen sickened more than 47,000 people in India in three months, in part, doctors believe, because the steroids used to treat Covid hobbled the immune system’s usual knockout response to the fungus spores."

    A security guard stands at the entrance of a ward for people infected with Black Fungus or scientifically known as Mucormycosis, a deadly fungal infection, at a civil hospital in Ahmedabad

    2. Amanita phalloides, also known as the "death cap" mushroom, which, as its name says, can be very deadly.

    amanita phalloides on the ground

    According to Slate, the death cap mushroom, "kills and poisons more people every year than any other mushroom."

    a hand with a nitrile glove holding a a Death Cap mushroom

    The article continued to explain that people who eat the mushroom will eventually suffer from "abdominal cramps, vomiting, and severely dehydrating diarrhea," while "the poison stealthily destroys [the] liver."

    warning sign saying death cap mushrooms may grow in this area do not eat

    3. Candida auris, which is a type of yeast, is so wild that it oftentimes does not respond to common antifungal drugs.

    Candida auris fungi, emerging multidrug resistant fungus, 3D illustration

    Although the World Health Organization noted candida auris as one of the most threatening fungi in the world, very little is actually known about it.

    holding a petri dish holding the yeast candida auris

    And, according to Scientific American, "It resisted treatment by most of the few drugs that could be used against it. It thrived on cold hard surfaces and laughed at cleaning chemicals; some hospitals where it landed had to rip out equipment and walls to defeat it. It caused fast-spreading outbreaks and killed up to two thirds of the people who contracted it."

    Candida auris vector illustration. Biological fungus infection explanation. Labeled invasive disease symptoms, classification and characteristics. Educational treatment resistant microorganism scheme.

    4. Amanita virosa, aka the "destroying angel" or "death angel" mushroom, which you should avoid eating at all costs.

    strongly poisonous toadstool (Amanita virosa) in forest

    According to North Carolina State University, "When ingested, there is a lag period following initial symptoms which can lull the patient into a false sense of security, believing that the danger has passed."

    Deadly Destroying Angel mushroom on a human palm

    However, this is a highly poisonous mushroom that, guessed it, can also cause death.

    In the Hospital Sick Male Patient Sleeps on the Bed. Heart Rate Monitor Equipment is on His Finger.

    5. Cryptococcus, which is an invasive fungus that can be transmitted through the inhalation of spores.

    This micrograph depicts the histopathologic changes associated with cryptococcosis of the lung using GMS stain, 1964

    The National Library of Medicine explains that "the most common forms of exposure include a history of exposure to soil, bird droppings."

    group of pigeon bird feeding food on sand beach

    And, according to CNN, cryptococcus "mainly affects people with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and kills between 200–600,000 people every year."

    Request for biopsy - Cryptococcosis

    6. Poison fire coral, a type of mushroom that, as its intense name implies, is super dangerous.

    Deadly poisonous mushroom "kaentake (Poison fire coral, Trichoderma cornu-damae) grow on stumps

    Although this fungus is native to Japan and Korea, apparently it was also recently discovered in Australia.

    Overview of a beach in Australia

    According to the BBC, "If eaten, the fungus can cause organ failure and brain damage" and "even touching the fungus can cause inflammation and dermatitis."

    deadly coral fungus in the forrest on the ground with long arms

    7. Aspergillus, a fungus that is so common, apparently "somewhere between 100 to 300" of its spores actually get in our lungs every day.

    Aspergillus (mold) under the Stereo microscope view for Microbiology in Lab.

    However, it can cause a type of infection called aspergillosis that affects the lungs and can cause pneumonia-like symptoms.

    Chest radiograph showing Aspergillosis (fungus ball) in the upper lobe of the right lung

    According to the CDC, "[aspergillosis] occurs primarily in immunocompromised people." But "it is a serious infection and can be a major cause of mortality" and kill those infected in as little as 10 to 14 days.

    Diagram showing aspergillus infection illustration

    And, believe it or not, that's just the tip of the iceberg! If you wanna know more about all the deadly fungi out in the world, check out the World Health Order's recent list. Or, you know, maybe don't if you want to sleep tonight...