Rare Hissing Mushroom Called 'Devil's Cigar' Spotted in Texas Park: 'It Tends to Puzzle Scientists'
Inks Lake State Park - Texas Parks and Wildlife/Facebook
The "Devil's Cigar," a distinctive star-shaped mushroom that can make a "hissing" noise, has been spotted in Texas.
Texas Parks and Wildlife announced the discovery in a Facebook post over the weekend, which included pictures of the fungus — known as Chorioactis geaster — that was located along a trail in Inks Lake State Park.
"The rare and rather unique, star-shaped fungus is highly selective about where it grows, mostly attaching to decaying cedar elm stumps in the central and northern parts of Texas," the agency wrote on the park's page.
"Appearing in late fall, it emerges as a dark brown, fuzzy capsule 3-4 inches in length inspiring another of its nicknames, the 'Devil's Cigar,'" reads the post.
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When the mushroom unfurls, according to the post, it releases a "strange hissing noise" and a cloud of spores.
PEOPLE's call to Texas Parks and Wildlife to request a comment was not immediately returned.
Texas designated the mushroom, also nicknamed the "Texas Star," as its state mushroom in July 2021, making it one of only three states in the U.S. to have a designated state mushroom, along with Minnesota and Oregon, per CBS News.
Harold W. Keller, a resident research associate at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, told the outlet that the star-shaped appearance of the mature mushroom made it a natural fit for an official designation in the Lone Star State.
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The mushroom has also been spotted in Oklahoma and in Japan, CBS News reports. The fungus was first found in Austin in 1893 and is a known inhabitant of the River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas, according to the outlet.
"The distribution of the 'Texas Star' tends to puzzle scientists," the park said on Facebook, which noted the "the odd sighting around Kyushu, Japan."