The Mushroom of Fairy Tales

Amanita muscaria in the Black Forest, 2007

Amanita muscaria in the Black Forest, 2007

Wandering in the Black Forest of Germany, I came across this pretty red mushroom with white spots. I immediately recognized it from pictures in old story books, especially those featuring Grimm’s Fairy Tales. This mushroom, or toadstool if you prefer (terms which technically can be used interchangeably), has hallucinogenic properties. Perhaps this was the Grimm brothers’ secret for writing scary fairy tales.

grimmfairytales

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