Mushrooms are poisonous, hallucinogenic, glowing, and now, thanks to a new study, named after a children’s cartoon character.
The new species, Spongiforma squarepantsii— found in 2010 in Sarawak, Malaysia—has a spongy appearance that reminded scientists of TV’s Spongebob Squarepants.
“It’s just like a sponge with these big hollow holes,” San Francisco State University’s Dennis Desjardin said in a statement. “When it’s wet and moist and fresh, you can wring water out of it and it will spring back to its original size. Most mushrooms don’t do that.” (Read more about the mushroom.)
There’s only one other species known so far in the Spongiforma genus, which lives in central Thailand and has a different color and odor. S. squarepantsii has a bright orange hue and smells “vaguely fruity or strongly musty,” according to the study, published in May in the journal Mycologia.