FRANK ZULLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANK ZULLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria) in leaf litter. This poisonous fungus, which has a cap up to 20 centimetres across, is so named because in medieval times it was mixed with milk and used to stupefy flies. The Lapps discovered its intoxicating and hallucinogenic properties after observing the effect it had on reindeer. The intoxicating compounds - muscimol and ibotenic acid - can be ingested from the urine of a recent consumer of the fungus. It is found growing with birch trees from late summer through to late autumn.
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