Most people consider mushrooms to be the small, ugly cousins of the plant kingdom, but theirs is  surprisingly beautiful and wonderful world waiting to be explored. These beautiful mushrooms, captured by enthusiastic nature photographers, are a far cry from the ones you find in the woods or your local grocery store.

Most mushrooms, as we know them, are actually just the reproductive structure of the fungus they belong to – their fungal networks expand far further underground, and some fungi don’t even sprout the sort of mushrooms that we’re used to seeing. In fact, depending on your definition of “organism,” the largest living organism in the world is a fungus – there’s a honey mushroom colony in Oregon that occupies about 2,000 acres of land!

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