Great Britain
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Horrified chef spots 'zombie hand clawing through earth' only to discover it's rare fungus

A horrified chef was stunned to discover what he believed to be a withered 'zombie hand' stretching from its overgrown grave - only to discover it's a rare fungus called dead man's fingers. Mike Roberts stumbled across the 'horrifying' formation in Pwllycrochan Woods, Colwyn Bay, North Wales, while out walking on a work break.

Images show five stems of xylaria polymorpha mushroom, known as dead man's fingers, poking through the greenery in the 'perfect' shape of a hand. Their white-coloured ends give the creepy impression they're a restless zombie's fingertips reaching out from its grave.

Stunned fungi-enthusiast Mike, 31, claims it's a 'once-in-a-lifetime' find and he couldn't wait to show colleagues and family when he left the woods. His creepy snaps went viral on Facebook earlier this week where they racked up more than 70,000 reactions - with some spooked users saying it's put them off mature walks for good.

Mike, from Llangollen, North Wales, said: "I was shocked when I first saw it. It really looked like a zombie hand reaching out of the ground. You do see [the mushroom] in groups of five pretty often but this one was shaped like a hand with a thumb. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

The Xylaria Polymorpha mushroom that 'looks like a zombie hand'
The Xylaria Polymorpha mushroom that 'looks like a zombie hand'

"It's a mushroom I've seen hundreds of times but to see it in that particular formation was pretty special. I feel lucky to have spotted it. When I got back to work I showed it to people, then I sent it to my mum too."

Mike says he found the 'scary' xylaria polymorpha during its asexual stage when its 'fingers', or stromata, have white tips because they're not firing out spores. The mushroom, common in the UK and Ireland, earned the nickname dead man's fingers for its uncanny resemblance to human digits, but Mike said he's not seen one this realistic before.

The Xylaria Polymorpha mushroom that 'looks like a zombie hand'
The Xylaria Polymorpha mushroom that 'looks like a zombie hand'

He first spotted it in May 2021 but it's recently gone viral on Facebook with users labelling the find 'freaky yet amazing'.

One user commented: "That's horrifying! Imagine coming across that while walking in the woods!!" Another said: "Ok, that would freak me out, even knowing what it was!!"

A third added: "That's the kind of stuff horror stories are written of. If I saw that, I'd never go walking in the woods again!" A fourth said: "Wow I thought it was a hand. It is freaky, but amazing."