Welcome to Top10Archive! Foraging for food
was our ancestors way of survival and although throughout the years we’ve learned what and
what not to eat, there are still those times where misclassification or contamination occurs
– and sometimes, the results can be deadly. From Angel Wings to Death Caps, we’re counting
down the top 10 deadliest mushrooms… Gyromitra esculenta (False Morel)
Also known as false morels and brain mushrooms, this North American fungi is often mistaken
to be that of the edible morel, which is a highly sought after delicacy. Though unlike
the morel, the false morel is poisonous, and potentially deadly, especially when eaten
raw. Appearing to have fleshy, wrinkled caps much like that of the morel, the easiest way
to tell the difference is to cut them in half length wise, a false morel will be solid where
as the edible delicacy you’d be after is hollow from stem to tip.
Podostroma Cornu-damae Like something out of an alien movie, the
podostroma cornu-damae is as toxic as it is strangely beautiful; with reports saying consuming
1 gram can be deadly. The podostroma is red, long and cylindrical with no distinct caps.
Several cases of poisoning have been reported throughout the world, causing organ failure,
liver necrosis as well as a variety of other ailments. They say after 3 days or so, symptoms
will seemingly clear up, though it isn’t the case; like most mushrooms, that is a part
of the symptoms, almost as if nature is lulling us into a false sense of security. Symptoms
always reappear a few days later, usually resulting in death.
Pholiotina Rugosa (Conocybe Filaris) This fungus is a common lawn mushroom found
throughout the Pacific Northwest, growing on compost and soil. These standard looking
brown mushrooms, with a wide inner ribbed cap are packed with amatoxins. This toxin
starts with its primary exposure to the liver, then moves on to the kidneys. It is capable
of causing anything from headaches and dizziness to severe organ failure or even death if it’s
ingested. Amanitin can even cause burning and severe pain if absorbed through the skin.
Pleurocybella porrigens (Angel Wings) Known more commonly as the angel wing mushroom,
the deadly fungi makes their home on moss covered coniferous woodlands, mostly in the
Scottish woodlands, where they originate. Though once considered to be an edible delicacy,
much like the poisonous puffer fish; it is considered to be deadly by today’s standards,
with numerous reports of death have occurred from the mushroom in Japan, Europe and North
America. It is commonly mistaken to be that of the oyster mushroom. You can differentiate
the two primarily from their color; angel wings are white, whereas the oyster is a shade
of brown. Galerina marginata (Autumn Skullcap)
With a common name like the autumn skullcap, it’s pretty safe to assume that you should
not be eating this mushroom. They grow from spring to fall, and found primarily in clusters
on rotting deciduous and coniferous trees. It is an extremely deadly shroom, with symptoms
occurring as soon as 10-hours after consumption; starting with vomiting, cramps and diarrhea.
Eventually symptoms will subside, giving the illusion of recovery, but eventually, kidney
and/or liver failure will occur, with death shortly thereafter.
Lepiota brunneoincarnata (Deadly Dapperling) Mushroom poisoning is a common occourence
throughout Europe, with France alone having an estimated 8 to 10 thousand cases a year.
Called the deadly dapperling, and an obviously deadly fungus, especially for younger children,
with most of the reported fatalities being that of children between the ages of 8 and
16. Looking like a standard everyday mushroom, with brown caps, and gilled undersides, the
deadly dapperling gets its killing power from the large amounts of amatoxins within it,
as with most deadly mushrooms, there is no safe way to remove them. The toxins are insoluble
in water and can’t be destroyed via drying. Cortinarius Rubellus (Deadly Webcap)
Mushrooms can kill, and they can be very tricky to decipher the differences, even experts
can slip up and make fatal mistakes. The Cortinarius Robellus, better known as a deadly webcap,
is one of the biggest mushroom related killers throughout North America and Europe. Easily
identified by the rusty brown color, with a paler, thicker stem and convexed, shield
shaped caps. The amatoxins in this mushroom are capable of causing renal failure in as
little as 2 days after ingesting this variety of LBM, as well as symptoms such as severe
dehydration, and massive pain throughout the entire body.
Amanita Verna (Fool’s Mushroom) Notably lacking any particular or pungent
odor, Amanita Verna, or fool’s mushroom, is incredibly poisonous and it’s highly advised
that you just don’t eat wild mushrooms, and leave it to an expert. If you think it’s safe
enough to try, then beware of the fool’s mushroom, this pure white, gilled mushroom, as well
as the other death angels on the list, can be determined by the bulbous volva, white,
convex cap and the gills underneath are free, and unattached to the stalk of the fungi.
A variant of the amanitin toxins, α-amanitin, begins its effects with severe cramps and
diarrhea, followed by liver and kidney failure, and ultimately breaking down the central nervous
system. Amanita Virosa (Destroying Angel)
Named with a stroke of poetic justice, the Amanita Virosa, has come to be called the
European springtime destroying angel. One of the three mushrooms, that together, are
known as the “death angels”. The three are difficult to tell apart without the aid of
a microscope. They’re all white, with yellowish patches, convex capped mushrooms. More common
throughout Europe and parts of North America, and packed full of α-amanitin, an unnamed
survivor of the mushroom would go on to say; “Often times it is far worse than death, and
I found, that if it was not for my kids, I would of much rather die.”
Amanita phalloides (Death Cap) Responsible for the most mushroom based poisonings
and deaths in the world, this fungus will kill most people within 10 days of consumption.
The mushroom, known as the death cap, appears to have a greenish-brown cap, cup-like volva,
white gills and a membranous skirt along its stem, and is often described as being sticky
to the touch. The toxins within are 100% stable, and there is no way of removing them, and
every last portion of the mushroom is deadly upon consumption, only taking 1 cap to kill.