A new variety of mushroom has been discovered in Northeast India’s Meghalaya state. Nearly 600 varieties of a bioluminescent mushroom have been found in the jungles of Meghalaya and because of its light-emitting nature, the newly found species has been named Roridomyces phyllostachydis.

These mushrooms were first discovered in August close to a water stream in Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong in East Khasi Hills district. Soon locals noticed the same variety of mushroom in Krang Shuri in West Jaintia Hills district and now it is among the 97 known species of bioluminescent fungi in the world!

The reason behind these “bright” mushrooms is a phenomenon of a living organism that emits light of its own, called ‘bioluminescence’. It is the first time that such a mushroom species has been found in India. According to the scientists, bioluminescent organisms are primarily found in the ocean so it’s extremely a rare case where these organisms have been found on land.

Senior mycologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Samantha Karunarathna told a local newspaper, “The members of the genus Roridomyces are very fragile and they love moist and humid conditions. In general, bioluminescent mushrooms seem to have co-evolved together with some specific insects as these mushrooms attract insects to disperse their spores.”

Research says that these mushrooms grow on dead bamboo. In the daytime, these look ordinary but at night, they look otherworldly!