Mushroom intelligence, networks and synchronicity

Paul Stamets, one of the best known mushroom enthusiasts in the world, is serious when he talks about the intelligence of mycelial networks. In his view the fungal world consists of zillions of mycelial mats which are in instant contact with each other and exchange information much like the internet works. In this way each mycelial cell of every network 'knows' where the it is needed to convert dead biomass (or petrochemical pollution!) into compost.

The idea about fungal intelligence sounds pretty off the wall at first, also to me, but I have to say that the RealAudio program of ABC Australia "The Science Show" (which this post links to) explains a lot. There is a mechanism which can explain it: the small world phenomenon. No matter how large and interconnected a network is, necessary information never needs to be more than a few nodes/fungal cells away. Mycelial mats literally can 'know' about all the places on this planet where they can convert waste into compost!

The program does not mention mycelia even once but listen to it. Or read the transcript. It explains a lot!


Yes, of course other organisms have intelligence in their own right, we should try to extend communication, so as to gain knowledge, surely they have something worth saying, they have been on this planet longer than we humans.

I love mushrooms, i live in Tuscaloosa Alabama.

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