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"They just grew there, overnight. People were horrified. If we cut them down, they'd just grow back. And just kind of... sway. By the time anybody official took a look at them, they'd already cracked open, and we found out what their spores could do if you breathed em' in."
~ A person explaining how the creatures work and how they arrived on their town.

The Face Fungus is an unnerving creature drawn by horror artist Trevor Henderson. As the name would suggest, this creature behaves very much like a fungal organism, more specifically: a mushroom. It also has strange properties that elevate it to be one of Trevor's most unique and dangerous creatures.


Appearance

The Face Fungus depicts a number of fungal growths that appear to be protruding out of the ground, resembling the sporophoric mushrooms. Each of the growths have different shapes and sizes, but their body structure remain the same. Due to the image being shot in the dark, it is difficult to see the location of the creature, although upon closer inspection, we can see that it is on an empty street in a small town, with some signs nearby and a house in the distance.

The growths themselves are dark gray in color throughout, although this gray coloration almost appears to be skin covering the fungi, rather than the parts themselves being gray. There are also hints of light red coloration on numerous parts of the 'skin'. The skin is also quite wrinkly.

The stipes of the fungi are thin and dry-looking. They do not appear to be normal mushroom stipes and more-so resemble fleshy tendrils that have been lightly twisted and bent, like a mummified arm. The fungi also do not seem to posses any rings, veils, scales, or volva. The stalks of each growth diverge from a single part in the soil. This particular patch of fungi sports four main growths, with many smaller ones growing out of the sides of their stipes.

What is most interesting and disturbing about these fungi however, is their caps, or rather lack thereof. The caps that would normally be on the top of mushrooms have been replaced with large, fleshy, and round organs which appear to be their heads. Some of these heads have gaping human-like mouths, complete with gums and teeth. The gums are dark red in color and have large yellowed teeth. The largest one has eleven teeth, while the smallest one only has four. The skin around the mouth is the most wrinkly, giving the appearance of chins.

The largest growth in the patch even has a large human nose on the top of its head, with the nostrils facing forwards. The smaller growths also have these fleshy heads, but they have yet to develop any mouths. The second largest one only has a small mouth but lacks a nose.

This patch is almost as tall as the stop sign behind it, which are typically around seven feet. The most likely height for the fungus is 6 Feet or 1.8 Meters tall. Other cases of this fungus may also vary, as not all fungi grow the same.

Behavior

The Face Fungus would likely behave similarly to an ordinary Saprotrophic fungus, remaining relatively stationary, only absorbing nutrients from the ground that comes from deceased matter. This is told in the caption, where the organisms would reportedly only sway around. This detail also implies that the fungi are much lighter than most large mushrooms, despite being much larger and having human-like facial features.

Speaking of which, their large human-like mouths may also mean that they can also consume food by directly devouring it without having to slowly absorb it in the ground. Since they cannot move their stipes, it is likely that the mouths serve a similar purpose to the mouth of a pitcher plant, serving as a trap for anything that happens to fall inside. It is very likely that they can move their jaws to bite or chew.

From what the caption says, their growth is very rapid and sudden. The townspeople stated that they had just appeared overnight, and were already at a size larger than most mushrooms. It is implied that they had only been around for a short while before they grew to the size we see in the image. It is unknown if the organism in the image has reached its final stage of growth, as the time the image was taken is not specified.

It is very likely that it is not in its final growth stage, since it would likely have developed eyes and ears as well, and maybe even the ability to move on its own, although this is unlikely, as there is no mention of this in the caption. Once they do reach full maturity, they would supposedly crack open and release a large number of spores into the air, much like certain types of real fungi. These spores would disperse in the wind and land on the ground, growing into more of these strange creatures, which is how they reproduce.

It is heavily implied that inhaling these spores causes intense adverse effects that are even more dangerous than inhaling a normal mushroom's spores, which are said to cause lung sensitivity, fever, cough and shortness of breath, among other illnesses. What these effects are were not specified in the caption, likely to add an air of mystery around the creature.

Abilities

As a fungus, this creature is particularly abundant and easy to spread due to its ability to asexually reproduce using an enormous amount of spores. This makes it near impossible to locate all instances of this creature. This, combined with its fast growth speed makes it difficult to tell when or where one might show up.

As the caption states, these creatures are regeneratively immortal, meaning cutting down a Face Fungus will only stall the spread of it. It is also very probable that they have a network of mycelium working underground, which help them spread even more effectively. There is practically no way to fully destroy them without destroying the surroundings as well. They also have the ability to taste, smell, feel, and perhaps even hear. This would give them some sort of advantage in investigating their environment, although it doesn't seem like they have any real practical use for these senses, as they are unable to move.

Thankfully, these creatures are actually relatively harmless, from what we see in the caption. The only real threat they pose is their spores causing damage when inhaled, and their fast spreading which can disrupt the environment. Although, these deadly spores may actually also double as a defense mechanism, like a toxic gas that it releases when it senses that it's in danger.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Face Fungus are the second fungus-based creature that Trevor has ever made, with the first one being Fungal Growth.
  • They are one of the few creatures that remain mostly neutral, not being aggressive and only passively attacking people.
  • Trevor has stated that he is proud of how well he was able to blend the creatures in with the background in this particular image.
  • It may be related to Fungal Growth, but there is nothing to directly link this besides the fact that they are both fungi.

Source

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