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Most people pay attention to the part of the mushroom we see (and sometimes even eat) that grows above the ground – but what about the latticework of tendrils that intertwine inside the dirt from which they grow?

As it turns out, this malleable network can, per Philip Ross“be used to form a super-strong, water-, mold- and fire-resistant building material. The dried mycelium can be grown and formed into just about any shape, and it has a remarkable consistency that makes it stronger, pound for pound, than concrete.” (via Inhabitat)

Stools and chairs are just the start – stone-like arches and eventually whole buildings may be yet to come. Like bamboo, the speed of growth and workability of the material make it a great candidate for locally-grown architecture, particularly in fungi-friendly climates. The strength of concrete, but easier to create and lightweight to boot – we have not seen the last of mushroom-based building technologies.