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Natural Phenomenon: Glowing mushrooms found in West Michigan

Bioluminescent Jack O’ Lantern Mushrooms are popping up around West Michigan.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Candy Corn often mark the transition from summer to fall, but what about glow-in-the-dark mushrooms?


Jeff Baurs, a viewer from Barry County, stumbled upon this natural phenomenon this past weekend. Often occurring in the late summer to early fall months, these bioluminescent mushrooms are commonly referred to as Jack-o-Lantern Mushrooms. The name stems from its orange color and its glowing appearance. The technical name is Omphalotus Olearius.  

The fact that this plant is bioluminescent is why this spooky mushroom glows in the dark. Plants are considered to be bioluminescent if the living organism can produce light. In this case, the light comes from a fungus located inside the gills of the mushroom. 

It is important to note that while these plants are intriguing they are considered poisonous. You can look but don't touch. 

If you spot any of these glowing beauties, make sure to snap a photo and sent it over to 616-559-1310. Include your name and where you found them!

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