Mushrooms Are the Fruiting Bodies of Mycelium

The most familiar parts of fungi are mushrooms, but they are only the visible, often edible parts. Underground, hyphae (the tendrils that reach out) expand the reach of mycelium, the organism that performs so many useful functions.

When the organism needs to reproduce, it sends some hyphae toward the surface, to turn into one of the thousands of beautiful varieties of mushroom. When they mature, most mushrooms release spores that use wind or animal transport to start new mycelial colonies elsewhere.

Thus mushrooms, the most visible and best known elements of the fungal world, are just the fruiting bodies of dense mycelial webs in the soil.

One of our projects involves creating living documents we call NeoBooks, which are composed of "Nuggets" of media, which might be texts, videos or other artifacts. NeoBooks are Mushrooms of The Big Fungus, as are NeoDecks and NeoCasts.

This all to explain our fondness for the metaphor of The Big Fungus.