Colorado Nature September 03, 2019
You Will Want To Keep Your Eye Out For These Rare Poisonous Mushrooms In Colorado
If you have been out and about in Colorado, you may have noticed a peculiar sight: red mushrooms with off-white spots. While these fungi may look innocent (and dare we say attractive) enough, they are anything but, as they can quickly kill animals and – at the very least – hospitalize humans. In case you have already seen one or come across one soon, here is what you need to know:
The mushrooms in question are called Amanita muscaria, which are also known as fly amanita and are native to the Northern Hemisphere.
Known for an iconic toadstool-like appearance, the Amanita muscaria are classified as poisonous and - though death to humans from ingestion is deemed somewhat rare - experts advise against their consumption.
According to a 2014
CBS Denver report, a 16-year-old Colorado girl with special needs ingested the mushroom and was hospitalized immediately, as she experienced seizure-like symptoms and dangerously low body temperature and blood pressure.
Thanks to her quick hospitalization, the young woman survived.
If you have a dog or a cat, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the mushroom, too, as animals are attracted to it for its fishy smell. If you believe your pet has come into contact with an Amanita muscaria, take them to your veterinarian immediately, as its consumption can be lethal.
Why is there a sudden spike in this colorful fungi? Like the increase in
ticks and blue-green algae, the mushrooms are a result of warmer temperatures and more moisture, which work together to co-create this unique specimen.
If you encounter an Amanita muscaria while you are out and about, do not panic, as they are reported to only be harmful when they are ingested.
Have you seen any of these mushrooms around Colorado? If so, where? Let us know in the comments! For other crazy things that can hurt you around the Centennial State, check out these
11 Terrifying Things In Colorado That Can (And Just Might) Kill You.