Research has found that mushrooms can talk to each other, using a vocabulary of 50 words that is similar to human speech.
We know you’ve probably felt like a mushroom was talking to you after ingesting a couple of them, but scientists have discovered that they communicate with each other frequently in a language that isn’t too different to human speech.
Researchers recorded mushrooms chatting to each other by sending electric pulses via an underground root system that connects the fungi to one-another. It’s a bit like nature’s version of the internet (they’re still catching up a tiny bit).
Naturally, scientists were intrigued. Especially one by the name of Andrew Adamatzky, a professor from the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the University of the West of England.
Adamatzky was curious about the information the mushies were sending each other, so he took the research to the next stage.
“We do not know if there is a direct relationship between spiking patterns in fungi and human speech. Possibly not,” he wrote. “On the other hand, there are many similarities in information processing in living substrates of different classes, families and species. I was just curious to compare.”
And compare he did. The results are pretty exciting because Adamatzky found clusters of activity with patterns in signals that resemble human speech with a vocabulary of up to 50 words.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
So it turns out mushrooms are pretty fun guys (we’re sorry).