I mushrooms they are often considered to be one of the most primitive life forms on Earth, but careful analysis of their behavior shows that they are far more intelligent than we think. Like some animals. Today, we may have discovered that they also have a complex language like ours.
For some time, science has observed the behavior of fungi: we know that they exchange electrical impulses through the hyphae, filamentous structures that branch off underground. Surprisingly modulated pulses: Scientists have speculated that mushrooms use them to exchange information about food or damage.
Numerous other studies have also shown that fungi respond to all types of stimulation: mechanical, optical and chemical. And they do this by “switching” their pattern of electrical activity similar to the human central nervous system.
Does communication between mushrooms have a structure similar to that of human language?
As mentioned, the scientists focused on the electrical impulses conducted by the long filamentous structures of fungi called hyphae.
And they did so by analyzing the transmission of impulses in four mushroom species: the ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis), the Enoki mushroom (Flammulina velutipes), the common splitgill mushroom (Schizophyllum commune) and the Chinese cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris). The activity was recorded through microelectrodes inserted into the substrate colonized by the mycelium.
What we found out
There are indeed patterns in impulses that have common characteristics with human speech. The activity peaks were combined into binary sequences to make up 50 “words”. The Splitgill mushrooms proved to be the most “intellectual”: they generated the most complex “sentences” of all.
“We do not yet have definitive confirmation of a direct link between the electrical activity of hyphae and the structure of human speech,” says the lead author of the latest study that I link to you here, Professor Andrew Adamatzky. “What is certain, however, is that there are many similarities in information processing in living substrates of different classes, families and species,” she said.
Almost a common “dictionary”, if not an entire language. With precise patterns and probably a purpose.
Mushroom language: will we be able to decipher it?
It is still too early to attribute to these impulses the hallmark of a real "mushroom language", but researchers hope that in the future they will be able to discover the correlations and objectives of this electrical activity.
We already have a “translator candidate”. When and if science finds a direct connection between the impulses emitted by mushrooms and the context, artificial intelligence will be able to "chew" all this mass of data, and perhaps let us discover what mushrooms say to each other. He already did it “reading” charred scrolls to herculaneum, or deciphering ancient Babylonian scriptures.
We need a lot more research and testing of critical hypotheses, in short, but one day we might also find the entry 'Fungus' on Google Translate :)