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LIVE SCIENCE - In the lush forests of Brazil, researchers have found a glow-in-the-dark mushroom not seen since 1840. The long-forgotten fungus has been reclassified, but scientists are still trying to determine just what makes the mysterious mushroom glow — and why.

The mushroom's bioluminescence, or an organism's ability to produce light on their own, was first discovered by English botanist George Gardner, who spotted a group of boys playing with a glowing fungus on the streets of Vila de Natividade in Brazil. The boys led him to where it grew at the base of a decaying dwarf palm, and Gardner named itAgaricus gardneri.

The fungus wasn't seen again until 2009, when San Francisco State University researcher Dennis Desjardin and colleagues collected new specimens of the glowing mushroom and reclassified it as Neonothopanus gardneri.

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Tom Stewart
7/8/2011 06:47:16 am

Isn't everything glow-in-the-dark after you eat mushrooms?

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