In the dead of night at the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park, an elusive glow-in-the-dark fungus has been enchanting photographers.
Chiltern’s Kurtis Hickling stumbled across the Omphalotus nidiformis, or ghost fungus, on a late-night shoot earlier in the month and shared his pictures online.
Word has since spread in the Border photography community and Mr Hickling has been taking groups out to see the phenomenon through their own lenses.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria senior mycologist Tom May said the fungus were “strongly luminescent”.
“This is a biological process of the fungus, with light being produced by chemical reactions at the cellular level,” he said.
“It is not clear why the fungus produces light.”
Dr May said the poisonous species, most commonly found in South Australia, was special in many ways.
“Apart from the bio-luminescence, ghost fungus contains interesting chemical compounds – some have anti-cancer properties,” he said.