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Mushrooms and their weird connections to things

Orion

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I went to a meeting of the Vancouver Mycological Society tonight, because I'm nerdy like that. I am trying to learn about local wild edible and medicinal mushrooms so I thought it would be the perfect place to start. I've always loved mushrooms and they are so delicious to add to things. I figure, why not learn about ones that are growing in my locale?

So when I went to the meeting, they had a huge table with fresh mushrooms on it that people had brought in for identification, and there were experts doing the identifying.

One species I saw on a hike 2 years ago, and it was huge, called Amanita Muscaria:
Amanita muscaria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This species is toxic and hallucinogenic. One of the experts told me a really interesting sorry about Santa Clause that I just HAVE to tell someone about.

So, hunters in Siberia that hunt reindeer know that the animals are highly attracted to this species of mushroom. It is very nutritious for them and if they smell it they go crazy for it. The hunters would eat small portions of this species so that its toxin would become concentrated in their urine, and then they would pee in the locale of reindeer populations. Because urine is so much more concentrated, the reindeer would smell the mushrooms and come running. Then the hunters would have some easy kills.

However... because the mushrooms are hallucinogenic, the hunters would see visions of flying reindeer. This is where the adaptation of Santa Clause being on a flying sled came from. It's also where the origin of the colours he wears comes from: red and white, the same colours as the mushroom.
 

Middleground

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Whether it's true or not, great story, Orion.
 
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