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Film: Discovering Amazing Fungi in India

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Close-up of 6 green glowing umbrella-shaped mushrooms in the dark.

These glowing fungi are called Mycena chlorophos.

The photograph of these Mycena chlorophos mushrooms is by Stephen Axford.

He says:

It is magic going into the forest at night and turning off your torch.

Something shines in the undergrowth.

When you take a closer look, they are these beautiful glowing fungi.


There are many types of mushrooms and fungi.

Some are poisonous.

Only experts know which ones can be eaten.

Never eat wild mushrooms that haven’t been checked by experts!


There are about 144,000 known species of Fungi organisms.

Yeasts, mildew, mold, and mushrooms are types of fungi.


Bright red, fat umbrella-shaped mushroom.

This is a fat red bolete mushroom photographed by Stephen Axford.


A cluster of umbrella shaped orange colored fungi looking like sponges.

These fungi are called Favolaschia calocera.


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The Documentary Film Planet Fungi

Planet Fungi is a documentary film by Catherine Marciniak and Stephen Axford.

It is about discovering mushrooms in the Himalayas in India.

The Balipara Foundation invited Catherine and Stephen to make the film.

The film recorded:

  • the people's knowledge about fungi in the remote region of India.

  • the many different fungi and plants growing there.

The film shows 232 types of mushrooms.

Catherine and Stephen discovered and photographed these fungi.

It took them 4 weeks to do so.

Catherine Marciniak says:

Of the 232 types of mushrooms, 58 can be eaten.

64 are used in making medicines.

We may have found 34 new types.


The Filmmakers

Catherine Marciniak

Catherine Marciniak is a:

  • filmmaker

  • reporter

  • film director

  • writer

She says, "We are crazy about fungi.

It has changed our lives.

We love the forms, colors, and the many types of fungi.

We love being in the forest.

We love that we are recording one of the largest type of living things on earth."


Stephen Axford

Stephen Axford photographs fungi all over the world.

Stephen Axford is over 50 years old and white skinned. He is wearing dark clothes and a light bobble hat, standing behind a camera on a tripod, in the woods.

Stephen worked as a computer specialist until he was nearly 60 years old.

He started taking photos of mushrooms after he retired.

His example shows it’s never too late to take up an interest.

He even has a mushroom in China named after him: Panaeolus axfordii.

Stephen says:

Without fungi, there would be no forests.

There’s fungus everywhere — even inside us.

We didn’t know much about it until 10 years ago.

That’s because most of it happens underground.


A cluster of tiny pale pink, umbrella-shaped mushrooms growing out of a moss covered, old piece of wood.

These fungi are called Pink Mycena.


Mushroom with bright orange spikes. It looks like flames.

The Flame Fungus is found in Tasmania.


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A group of small pale yellow fungi, shaped like rosettes.

A beautiful little yellow cup fungus.


A bright blue umbrella shaped mushroom.

This mushroom is called Entoloma hochstetteri.


Time-lapse photography

Stephen’s photographs are in many science and nature magazines.

To show mushrooms growing he uses time-lapse photography.

Time-lapse photography means:

Take a series of photos and combine them to create a video.

It shows things moving at a much faster than in reality.

See what it looks like in this video:

Time-lapse film of the Flower Pot fungi.


Stephen's time-lapse photos are in these documentary films:


Very small, orange colored,  cup shaped fungi with fine white hairs sticking out in all directions.

These fungi are called Cookeina tricholoma.

Stephen photographed these in Nabanhe, Xishuangbanna, China.

He says:

The hairs might be a defence against being eaten.


3 mushrooms with white stalks and pale blue, egg-shaped cap.

A blue Coprinopsis species.

This photograph was in David Attenborough's film Planet Earth 2.


View of the fungi from below. They are white, round, and have a structure similar to cabbage leaves.

These fungi are called Campanella.

This is a view of the Campanella from below.

Stephen says they remind him of lace curtains.


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A green umbrella shaped mushroom hidden among moss.

This mushroom is called Hygrocybe graminicolor.

This is a Tasmanian mushroom.

It was hard to find because it is the same color as the moss.


A group of umbrella shaped mushrooms with white stems and bright orange cap.

These mushrooms are called Mycena adonis.

Stephen photographed these mushrooms close to his home in Australia.


Close-up of small purple colored, umbrella-shaped mushroom

This mushroom is a Crinipellis.

Stephen discovered this mushroom in the Booyong Reserve in Australia.

He collected some samples as this may be a new species.


Watch the Planet Fungi movie trailer


You can watch the complete Planet Fungi film right now.

Click here to find out how.


The Deluxe version of the movie includes 25 minutes of Fungi Photography class.

Stephen shows how best to photograph fungi with a digital camera or a smartphone.


Sources: Planet Fungi

*Quotes are edited to Easy to Read*

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