NBC News discusses whether fungi are the answer to climate change – a student who grew a mushroom canoe says yes. “Mushrooms are here to help us — they’re a gift,” college student Katy Ayers said. “They’re our biggest ally for helping the environment.”
Catch a glimpse of Katy Ayers paddling her canoe on a Nebraska lake this summer and you might do a double take. At first glance, her 8-foot vessel looks much like any other canoe — same oblong shape, same pointed ends, same ability to float on water. But upon closer inspection, it’s clearly anything but ordinary: Ayers’ canoe is made out of mushrooms. More specifically, her boat is made from mycelium, the dense, fibrous roots of the mushroom that typically live beneath the soil. Ayers, 28, a student at Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska, even gave her creation a fitting name: “Myconoe.”
Inspired by research from Washington State University, which found that honeybees who consumed mycelium extract had lower levels of a harmful virus, Ayers and her classmates hope to better understand the effects of mycelium on Nebraska’s solitary bees.