It’s not enough that Australia has 21 out of 25 of the world’s most deadly snakes.
I’ve found today the icing on the Australian poison cake: a deadly fungus that kills you and shrinks your brain.
Poison Fire Coral is the only known mushroom with toxins that can be absorbed through the skin, and causes a “horrifying” array of symptoms if eaten, including vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and numbness.
If left untreated, it can cause multiple organ failure or cause a person’s brain to shrink leading to death.
“The fact that we can find such a distinctive and medically important fungus like Poison Fire Coral right in our backyard shows we have much to learn about fungi in northern Australia,” Barrett said.