Mushrooms can talk to each other, recognise up to 50 words

Bhubaneswar: Mushrooms can talk to each other and recognise up to 50 words! Yes you heard it right.

A new study of the electrical activity of four species of fungi found electrical impulses were structurally similar to human speech and resembled vocabulary of dozens of words.

Researchers found that the impulses increased when wood-digesting fungi came in contact with wood. The research, conducted by professor Andrew Adamatzky from the University of the West of England, suggested that fungi may use electrical transmissions to share information about food or injury.

He and his computing laboratory analysed electrical spikes generated by enoki, split gill, ghost and caterpillar fungi. In the research, published by Royal Society Open Science, professor Adamatzky said, “We do not know if there is a direct relationship between spiking patterns in fungi and human speech. Possibly not.”

The research found the spike clusters resembled human vocabulary of up to 50 words, with the information being passed along fungal roots called mycelium. Professor Adamatzky said the average length of each ‘word’ was 5.97 letters – the English language averages 4.8 letters per word.

“Assuming that spikes of electrical activity are used by fungi to communicate, we demonstrate that distributions of fungal word lengths match that of human languages. We found that the size of fungal vocabulary can be up to 50 words; however, the core vocabulary of most frequently used words does not exceed 15 to 20 words,” Professor Adamatzky added.

[Note: This story is a part of ‘Punascha Pruthibi – One Earth. Unite for It’, an awareness campaign by Sambad Digital.]

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