Zap goes the mushroom.

No, not like that. PhysOrg reveals the way lightning makes the mushrooms grow:

A four-year study carried out at Iwate University in northern Japan on ten species of mushroom (so far) has shown that for eight of the 10 mushroom species a bolt of lightning-strength electricity could double the crop yield. The best improvements were found in the popular nameko and shiitake mushrooms. The experiments were carried out by seeding logs with mushroom spores and then applying high-voltage electricity pulses to the logs.

The experiments showed mushrooms react best when exposed to a ten-millionth of a second burst of electricity at 50-100,000 volts. Under the best conditions the nameko yield was 80% greater than the untreated control crop, while the shiitake crop yield doubled. Takaki said the mushrooms initially decrease the enzyme and protein secretions from the hyphae (tiny filaments that spread under the surface, acting like roots and giving rise to the fruiting bodies such as mushrooms), but then suddenly increase production.

The reason for the reaction is unknown and the subject of further investigations.

As someone who’s always wanted an excuse to own a Tesla coil, I say to you: There has never been a better time to be a mushroom farmer.

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