Mushrooms are fungi. Fungi are as uniquely different from plants as plants are from animals. In fact, fungi and animals are now in the same super-kingdom, Opisthokonta.
Fungi recycle plants after they die and transform them into rich soil. If not for mushrooms and fungi, the Earth would be buried in several feet of debris and life on the planet would soon disappear.
The oldest mushroom found in amber is from 90 million years ago—a Cordyceps.
Some of the oldest living mushroom colonies are fairy rings growing around the famous Stonehenge ruins in England. The rings are so large that they can best be seen from airplanes.
You can make beautiful colours by boiling wild mushrooms and dipping cloth in the resulting broth.
Creminis and portabellas are the same mushroom - just picked at different times.
Many mushrooms grow towards light, following the sun just like plant. Unlike with plants, scientists do not yet know how mushrooms use sunlight; only that they do.
The spores of mushrooms are made of chitin, the hardest naturally-made substance on Earth.
Under the right conditions, some mushrooms' spores can sit dormant for decades or even a century, and still grow!
Mushrooms are useful not only as food and medicine; some are also being used in bioremediation, to absorb and digest dangerous substances like oil, pesticides and industrial waste, in places where they threaten the environment.
According to the hieroglyphics of 4600 years ago, ancient Egyptians believed mushrooms to be the plant of immortality. Their delicious flavour intrigued the pharaohs of Egypt so much that they decreed mushrooms were food for royalty and that no commoner could ever touch them.
In various other civilisations throughout the world, including Russia, China, Greece, Mexico and Latin America, mushroom rituals were practiced. Many believed that mushrooms had properties that could produce super-human strength, help in finding lost objects and lead the soul to the realm of the gods.