How Big Is the Largest Living Organism?

How big is the largest living organism on Earth? We all know that the giant Redwoods of California grow larger than any whale. However, there are other living organisms that dwarf even the Redwoods.

The mushrooms that spring up in your yard or the forest are actually only the fruit-bearing part of a larger fungus. The main part of the fungus exists as a mass of filaments that grows underground. In 1992, scientists discovered such a fungal growth in the state of Washington and declared it to be the largest known living thing. It covered 1,500 acres. The only sign of the fungus were the golden mushrooms that popped up each fall. Despite their common name – the honey mushroom – researchers tell us that they are edible but don’t really taste all that good.

A decade ago, researchers discovered an even larger fungus of the same species. It extends three feet deep beneath the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon. This monster, estimated at 2,400 years old, is three-and-a-half miles across and covers 2,200 acres! No one has taken on the hopeless job of estimating its weight. The problem with this fungus is that as it spreads, it kills trees. That’s why the National Forest Service got involved in trying to learn how to control it.

The huge dinosaurs and whales of today reflect the power and creativity of the Creator. Likewise, this huge fungus that produces the honey mushroom reflects the Creator’s unlimited imagination as He formed all living things.

Psalm 77:14
“Thou [art] the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.”

Help me, Father, to also bear witness to Your power and love. Amen.

Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/5/00, p. A17, “2,400-year-old Oregon fungus is largest living organism.” Photo: Strawberry Lake in Malheur National Forest, Oregon.

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