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Huge 'Snorlax' enoki mushrooms sprout at southern Taiwan museum during pandemic closures

Staff liken mushrooms' sturdiness to that of Pokemon character

Giant mushrooms sprout at Tainan museum. (Facebook, <a href="*F" role="link" tabindex="0">臺南山上花園水道博物館</a> photo) 

Giant mushrooms sprout at Tainan museum. (Facebook, 臺南山上花園水道博物館 photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A variety of enormous wild mushrooms have sprouted at a museum in Tainan since the establishment was closed to the public due to recent outbreaks of COVID-19 cases.

The sudden drop-off in visitors has given the natural ecosystem of the museum grounds time to renew and, combined with recent heavy rainfall in southern Taiwan, has contributed to a flourishing of 10 different mushroom species, according to a UDN report.

Staff at the Tainan ShanShang Garden and Old Waterworks Museum (台南山上水道博物館) say there are mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, including disk-shaped, umbrella-shaped, and spherical ones.

The staff also found enormous enoki mushrooms had burst up through the ground. At full height, the fungus stands more than 30 centimeters tall with a diameter of over 25 cm, larger than the palm of an average-sized hand. Staff humorously call the variety the “Snorlax” (a type of Pokemon) of the mushroom world due to its sturdiness.

Staff say most people do not often get a chance to witness mushrooms like this. Yet now, thanks to the ideal conditions, they are popping up all over the grounds, from tree trunks to grassy undergrowth.

According to the Cultural Affairs Bureau, in addition to the historical heritage of its monuments and buildings, the museum is rich in natural ecology, with a number of animals, plants, and fungi to experience.

However, because not all wild mushrooms are suitable for consumption, one should err on the side of caution and avoid eating them, staff advised.