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Singing mushrooms

Do mushrooms sing? The root of this question rests in how we define singing. This question is similar to, “if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” The answer is dependent on the definition of sound.

If sound is a vibration through air, then yes, the tree makes a sound. However, if sound is a conscious experience received by our ears and translated to our brain, then no, the tree makes no sound. There is no observer, hence no sound.

So back to the original question, “do mushrooms sing?” What do you think? Leave your answers below.

For me, the answer is yes. I don’t have to hear them with my ears to know that they sing. Singing is defined as a way “to produce musical or harmonious sounds (vibrations).” Birds sing. I am a sailor. We often say a boat is singing when moving graciously through the water and humming. Singing is all around, not only by means of the voice.

I launched a new business growing gourmet mushrooms and selling them at a local farmer's market. I call my business “Singing Mushrooms.” I wanted to communicate the intelligence of mushrooms and fungi. I also wanted a name that was fun, because it is fun growing mushrooms! There is a richness in the interaction. Kinda of like being at the opera.

There is a study that suggests mushrooms talk to each other using their own language. A curious person inserted electrodes into different fungi and recorded their electrical activity over time. By studying the electrical patterns, it appears mycelium (mushrooms) were having a conversation and discussing their experience. How cool! And really, why not?! Humans have a gift for arrogance. Of course, no other species can be as smart as us. Not!

In this same study, fungi used up to 50 words to communicate and some of their conversations were over 14 minutes in length. Now, I would like to be a fly on the wall! I don't understand their language but I can feel their singing. This is the foundation for experiential learning. Students investigate their perceptions and compare that to the common reality.

Mushrooms (the fruit) and mycelium (the fungal network of threadlike cells in the earth) have an intelligence demonstrated by their ability to communicate. And what is the best way to communicate? To sing! Birds sing. People sing. Mushrooms sing.

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