Phallus indusiatus is a mushroom featured in Chinese cooking and Nigerian folklore, but the Hawaiian variety of the mushroom, which grows on lava flows, has a property that sets it apart from its Asian and African cousins. The smell of the type growing in Hawaii can trigger spontaneous orgasms in women. Here’s what it looks like, in case you’ve already booked a trip to Hawaii as I have (FOR SCIENCE).
In a study from 2001 (unearthed recently by Boing Boing), six out of 16 women who smelled this mushroom had a spontaneous orgasm, while the other 10 women received a smaller dose and experienced an increased heart rate and other boring symptoms. All 20 men who sniffed the mushroom only reported that it smelled bad [Note to self: check if those plane tickets are refundable]. According to Wikipedia, “the results suggest that the hormone-like compounds present in the volatile portion of the gleba may have some similarity to human neurotransmitters released in females during sexual activity.”
Why the hell has no drug company figured out how to mass-produce these compounds and advertise them during prime time? The research paper about the discovery can be found at the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, which has crashed from overwhelming traffic as of this writing. Of course.
Man, mushrooms are just the weirdest. There can be 12 species in a row that’ll kill you, then the next one gives you an orgasm, and the one after that makes you see dragons.
(Via Boing Boing)