In the bustling streets of Taipei, a tiny marvel of nature has captured the hearts of many. On November 17, 2022, Eric Cho, a 32-year-old pharmacist, stumbled upon an enchanting mushroom species near Section 3 of Zhishan Road in Taipei City’s Shilin District. The captivating fungus, believed to be Mycena subcyanocephala, has since become an online sensation.
Cho’s exploration of this fantastic find was sparked by a tip from his friend, Chiang Pei-ying, who mentioned a “special tiny mushroom” in the Bixi Trail of Shilin District. Intrigued, Cho ventured to the location and discovered one of these extraordinary mushrooms nestled on a piece of wood. Carefully, he transported it back to his home.
Initially, the mushroom appeared rather ordinary, displaying a drab grayish-white hue. Fueled by curiosity and hope, Cho decided to test whether it possessed a hidden luminance. He turned off all the lights at night, eagerly anticipating a glowing spectacle, but alas, it remained unilluminated.
Undeterred, Cho diligently cared for the mushroom, spraying it with water daily to maintain its moisture. After more than three months of tender nurturing, Cho was met with an astonishing transformation on March 7. A new growth had emerged on the wood, displaying a breathtaking blue color.
According to a research paper titled “Two New Species of Mycena in Taiwan,” this brilliant blue hue is characteristic of the young stage of the mushroom and gradually fades to a light-blue or whitish shade as it matures.
Recognizing the rarity and beauty of his discovery, Cho shared photos of the mesmerizing mushroom on iNaturalist on March 12. The images quickly gained attention, with iNaturalist subsequently posting them on its Twitter account on March 13. The post swiftly garnered 8,422 likes, 2,219 retweets, and 307 quote retweets.
This captivating miniature mushroom serves as a reminder of the enchanting wonders that nature has to offer, even in the midst of a bustling city like Taipei.