You might already know about the glowing mushrooms of Japan. Every spring, the rains cause bioluminescent fungi to peep out from tree trunks and forest floors. For years scientists believed that these rare mushrooms grew nowhere else in the world. But now the glowers turn out to thrive in the forests of Brazil, too. Four new species like these, pictured, have been discovered there since 2002.

According to National Geographic:

The mushrooms are part of the genus Mycena, a group that includes about 500 species worldwide. Of these only 33 are known to be bioluminescent - capable of producing light through a chemical reaction.


In Japan, you can go on a nighttime tour in early summer to see the glowers. Generally, however, researchers prefer that crowds leave the green guys alone. They're rare, and tend to prefer areas with very little human habitation.

New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil [via National Geographic]