Koosh Balls in Nature!

October 23, 2008 at 12:43 am 5 comments

Last weekend I went hiking with both dogs (Henry’s first real hike since his leg injury!) in Douthat State Park. On the Blue Suck Falls Trail, I got introduced to a new fungus. The scientific name is Hericium erinaceus. Like fern fronds (a.k.a. fiddleheads), the fungus has a bunch of common names based on its appearance such as “Lion’s Mane Mushroom” and “Hedgehog Mushroom”. Until I was enlightened, I called it something else entirely.

I called it the “Koosh ball fungus”.

My Koosh ball fungus from Douthat State Park

Perusing Flickr, it looks like I’m not the only one who has spotted Koosh ball dopplegängers in nature! And these copycats are diverse. With my mushroom, the Plantae, Animalia and Fungi kingdoms are all represented. A variety of habitats are accounted for as well- tropical, underwater and even deserts.

Here are a few of the Koosh ball impersonators, courtesy of Creative Commons:

“koosh?” by Brenda Anderson

“Nature’s Koosh Ball” by mattsabo17

“koosh ball tree” by orphanjones

“It looks like a Koosh!” by skyfall

“Koosh” by omiksemaj

“looks like a koosh ball” by whalt

“au naturale koosh® ball” by druid labs

“Artichoke flower” by Erik++ (The description reads “It kind of looks like a koosh ball”)

And finally—

“smokey @ 5.37p” by yatta (The description reads “Her famous koosh ball impression.”)

Yup. I do believe this is cause for another Flickr group. 🙂


Entry filed under: Douthat State Park, Fungus, Hiking, Koosh ball, Nature.

links for 2008-10-22 links for 2008-10-23

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brillante Weblog Award : an american expat in deutschland  |  November 3, 2008 at 2:33 am

    […] TGAW – Vicky and I have been friends since high school and her blog always makes me laugh or wonder at the beauty of nature, or both sometimes, like in her recent post on Koosh Balls in Nature. […]

  • 2. The Harvey Dent Tree « TGAW  |  November 11, 2008 at 8:05 am

    […] to the Kooshball Fungus, it didn’t take me long to come up with a name for the tree. I immediately thought of Harvey […]

  • 3. 3 Year Blogiversary « TGAW  |  March 3, 2009 at 1:04 am

    […] Koosh Balls in Nature! […]

  • 4. Tentacle Beards in Nature? « TGAW  |  November 23, 2010 at 5:04 am

    […] When I first encountered the Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) in Douthat State Park, I thought it looked like a Koosh Ball. […]

  • 5. Kitty  |  December 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    haha! what a great idea, too–looking up other “koosh” impressions! I’m going to try that the next time I find some dopplegängers in nature. I totally want to go on a hike and look for unusual looking mystery objects, just so that I can do this! Thanks for the idea!


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