The mystery behind a bizarre growth weeping liquid on a tree has been solved after a photo baffled online viewers.
A picture of the 20-centimetre swelling on a tree emerged on Reddit, with a person coming across it about a metre off the ground in a forest in Sweden.
Alongside the photo, the person who found it claimed it was hard to touch but dripped liquid when knocked.
People were disturbed by the photo of the mysterious lump.
“This thing is giving me the chills,” one commented.
“I’ve never seen anything like that either,” another replied.
“Please tell me you touched it with a stick or something as opposed to with your fingers before knowing if it was deadly or not,” a third added.
Many others speculated the growth was some sort of fungus.
“I think it might be some kind of tree fungus (mushroom) with tree resin,” one suggested.
“Reminds me of a ‘bleeding tooth’ fungi,” another said.
Mystery growth identified as type of mushroom
The person who posted the photo later confirmed they had solved the mystery, identifying the bizarre growth as a type of European Fomitopsis Pinicola, also known as a red-banded polypore fungus.
According to naturalist Josh Fecteau, the fungus is a wood-eating medicinal mushroom that grows on dead or dying conifer trees.
He posted on his blog they also had a cream-coloured pore surface where the droplets were released.
“This species often grows on dead or dying conifers, but can also consume various hardwoods,” he said on his blog.
According to Fungi Magazine, the leaking of water from the pores is known as guttation, when plants release excess water through drops on leaves.
“For some mushrooms this is so common that it is a reliable identification feature,” the magazine said.
It added it was common for Fomitopsis pinicola to weep water during growth.
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