Stinkhorn fungi are both beautiful and gross all at the same time.  This bizarre fungus can pop up suddenly when it's fruiting body explodes out of a mushroom looking egg and resembles a red star-shaped structure covered in brownish slime. 

It has the name stinkhorn because the slime has a foul odour which attracts flies. Insects land on the slime to gobble it up.  At the same time, their feet are covered with stinkhole spores to be dispersed somewhere else.

Photographer Steve Axford takes us inside his 'fungarium' to watch this stinkhorn bloom. "It's just spectacular!"

MORE:
Fungi Paved The Way For Humans To Evolve In The Aftermath Of A Deadly Asteroid Strike
Photographer Steve Axford Documents The Beauty of Fungi

For more about fungi, watch Nature of Things doc, The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World.

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From CBC Kids

The Nature of Thingies