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Out of Sight, ‘Dark Fungi’ Run the World from the Shadows

The land, water and air around us are chock-full of DNA from fungi that scientists can’t identify.



Why This Matters: The land, water and air around us are chock-full of DNA fragments from fungi that mycologists can’t link to known organisms. These slippery beings are so widespread scientists are calling them “dark fungi.” It’s a comparison to the equally elusive dark matter and dark energy that permeate the universe. Like those invisible entities, dark fungi are hidden movers and shakers, prime examples of what E. O. Wilson called “the little things that run the world.”


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