A Dissertation on a New Species of Fungus.

Hello, my name's Alice I'm a botanist here at the University of Washington. I'm here today to talk to you about a new species of mushroom that we have recently found. We call this new form of fungus Boletus Femutus. This mushroom can be identified by its red cap with white spots, and a white stem with red spots. It averages 7 inches in height and should be avoided at all times!

Currently, we don't know what genus to place this mushroom in as it has some very odd characteristics. The most obvious trait this species has was discovered very quickly, by Dr. Anderson here. Any person who picks, steps on, or damages one of these mushrooms is swiftly transformed into a mushroom themselves, replacing the damaged specimen. The newly changed mushroom resembles the old one in color and pattern, however the mushroom tends to be a little larger and the stem now resembles a human female that looks a great deal like the person who damaged the original. The "gender" of the mushroom person seems to always be female regardless of the gender of the person who has been changed.

The victim of this transformation is rooted to the ground like a normal mushroom would be, but they can twist and move their body as normal. They never have arms, having only a limbless human torso that starts with the Cap growing out of the top of their head and what would have been their legs melds down into the lower stem. They appear to be fully aware of what has happened and of their surroundings but its hard to be sure because they seem to always be mute.

The only way to avoid this effect when collecting one of these mushrooms is to use some form of iron. Iron tongs, or an iron scoop will work fine.

Once a person has been changed into one of these mushrooms the only way to change them back is to pick them. The original victim is immediately changed back to normal (though sometimes the gender shift will stick). The down side to this however is that the picker is now changed into a mushroom themselves. There is an exception to this. A person who eats one of these mushrooms seems to be permanently transformed. If someone else tries to pick or damage them, then they are still turned into a mushroom while the original remains transformed as before.

Now eating any wild mushroom that you're unfamiliar with is fool hardy at best, so we're still unsure why Dr. Anderson would have picked and then eaten one of these. Some of our associates theorize that its possible for these mushrooms to give off a powerful odor that might compel a person to consume them. This doesn't seem to be likely as I've been around them for quite some time and I've never felt the urge to eat one.

This form of fungus has been located in several forests and even in a couple of urban areas. If you locate a cluster of these mushrooms do not attempt to remove them, even with iron. Call the local authorities and they will deal with them.

At the moment we have no idea where this form of fungus originated from. There are several rumors being spread around. Several Environmental Groups claim that these mushrooms are the result of genetic engineering of food. This is simply not true. As for Aliens creating them or the idea that they were made by fairies angry at our society for polluting the planet, we refuse to comment on such absurd ideas. And as for the Greenpeace members who assumed that these mushrooms are endangered and fought the forestry service to save them, we have had them transplanted and sent them back to their families.

So in closing we in the world of botany are doing our best to learn more about this strange new (Sniff) Um, (Sniff, Sniff) Er Mush, er room (Sniff) My, these do smell nice. Ah, anyway as I was saying we are working very diligently to Uh (Munch) Wow these are good! ERK!

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