About This Episode
Why are some mushrooms delicious, some make you high, and some kill you? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Chuck Nice discover the weird world of mushrooms, psilocybin, and mycelia with mycologist Bryn Dentinger.
What is a mycologist? Discover the kingdom of fungi, the crazy chemicals they produce, and how mushrooms have a closer common ancestor to us than plants. How did the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs help the mushrooms? When did humans start using mushrooms for their psychedelic effects?
Why are mushrooms so hard to grow? Learn about the differences between fungus and plant life. Learn about how mycelium are some of the largest single organisms by area. How did some mushrooms come to be hallucinogenic? Should we be farming more mushrooms?
What makes prized mushrooms like truffles so rare? Why can’t we farm them? Could fungi be the key to feeding a future Martian settlement? Learn about what fungi are made of biochemically and how many new species of fungi are found everyday. How do fungi interact with the human microbiome? What is Auto-brewery Syndrome? Plus, could a fungus based plague cause a zombie apocalypse like the disease featured in The Last of Us?
Thanks to our Patrons Jack Hill, The Fantasy GOAT, Andrew Gendreau, ND, Vijai Karthigesu, Shellz, and Jeff Lane for supporting us this week.
NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can listen to this entire episode commercial-free.