This Ohio Forest Contains a Glow in the Dark Fungus

Travel Maven

Ohio is filled with seemingly magical places. From the caves at Hocking Hills to the Glacial Grooves in Kelleys Island, there is so much natural beauty to explore within this state.

A strange yet strikingly beautiful phenomenon that occurs within nature, this glow-in-the-dark mushroom is like something out of a dream and you can find it throughout the forests in Ohio. Keep reading to learn more.

If you come across the foxfire fungus during the day, you may not think anything of it. However, take a hike at night and you'll be able to catch this baffling species of fungi glowing in the dark.
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Nearly 75 different species of foxfire can be found throughout the world, and the state of Ohio is home to the rare Armillaria mellea mushroom, pictured above.
Catia Dombaxe/Unsplash

The best place to see Armillaria mellea is on decaying stumps of wood. Your best bet at finding these glow-in-the-dark mushrooms is within Maumee State Forest. This 3,332-acre forest contains some of the oldest chestnut trees in the state. Located in the southwestern corner of the state just outside of Toledo, there are over 8 miles of trails to explore and one of the most popular activities at this state park is mushroom hunting.
Kate Russell/Unspalsh

The scientific reason behind this glowing phenomenon is due to the plant's reaction to luciferin, the enzyme emits a blueish-green glow. This is also the chemical found inside lightning bugs.
Maggie Lyons/Unsplash

Coming face to face with a glow-in-the-dark fungus is quite a sight to behold. Spottings are rare as the conditions and season have to be just right. For the most optimal mushroom hunting, be sure to visit your local state park between April and November. And if you live in northwestern Ohio, be sure to give Maumee State Park a visit.

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