What Kind of Mushroom Looks Like a Brain? (Solved & Explained!)

When you look at the appearance cap of the mushroom Gyromitra Esculenta, it looks just like a brain. Otherwise known as a false morel, a turban mushroom, or brain fungus, the Gyromitra is a poisonous mushroom that should not be consumed

Is The Gyromitra Morel Edible?

Gyromitra mushrooms are poisonous and inedible. If you come across a Gyromitra, definitely don’t even think about tasting it. 

Gyromitras are deadly poisonous due to the high amount of natural toxins they contain. They look just like true morels, who are part of the Morchella family, not the Gyromitra family. 

False Morels have been accidentally consumed by amateur mushroom hunters and members of the public who have confused the two species.

True morels are often confused with false morels because of their similarity in appearance. True morels also look like a brain but are a different color.

If you accidentally eat a false morel, you should seek help from the nearest health institution immediately – do not wait for any symptoms to develop.

Just because this mushroom is poisonous doesn’t mean no one ever ate it. See the video below for a brief look at how traditional Finnish folks have historically cooked this mushroom.

What is The Gyromitra Mushroom?

Gyromitras are one of the highly poisonous types of mushrooms. These morel mushrooms, which are frequently encountered in Northern Europe, Northern US, and Canada, can be fatal if eaten.

This genus of mushrooms, whose hats are usually drooping towards their trunks, is a broad and stocky mushroom that is similar in height and shape to the Morchella.

In terms of color, Gyromitras come in a spectrum of dark tones, ranging between purple, brown, and black. When you open their stems, it is possible to find white silky fibers inside. 

Is It Fatal to Eat Gyromitra?

The result of eating Gyromitras can be fatal, according to how much toxin that particular mushroom contains and how many you have eaten.

The problem with wild mushrooms is that their toxicity levels vary. As a precaution, your doctor will usually give you treatment to cure the most toxic of mushrooms, but you may not know exactly how much poison has entered your system without lab testing.

Since some Gyromitras contain very little toxin, you may consume one and not feel its effects for a long while. However eating a Gyromitra raw will always result in poisoning, but some clever mushroom hunters and chefs have managed to root out the least poisonous and process them in a way that removes the toxins.

If the amount of toxin you consume is high, it can cause lung inflammation and kidney failure. Therefore, never risk eating a mushroom that you do not know.

What  Other Mushrooms Look Like Brain?

Cauliflower Mushrooms

This type of mushroom sits low to the ground and has hats resembling a brain or cauliflower. They are usually light brown, yellow, and gray in color.

This species without gills has a recessed and protruding structure. This mushroom variety grows on the trunks and bases of pine trees and has a woody smell.

Cauliflower mushrooms are a non-poisonous mushroom species and do not cause any problems if consumed. 

If you have picked them fresh, you will find that they taste very delicious. After picking them, you must wash them thoroughly because they tend to collect a lot of dust and debris in their crevices.

Do not consume Cauliflower mushrooms raw, you must cook them thoroughly before eating.

Elephant Ear Mushroom

Elephant ear mushrooms are a fungi genus belonging to the Rhodactis species. They can be found both in the sea and on land.

While the aquatic elephant-eared mushrooms are non-poisonous, the land-dwelling ones of this species are highly poisonous and should be avoided.

They have large hats and come in a range of interesting colors. This is why elephant-eared mushrooms have managed to attract the attention of mushroom hunters and are becoming increasingly popular.

Is There a Poisonous Mushroom That Looks Like a Brain?

The False Morel genus of Gyromitras species, is the only poisonous species that is said to look like a brain. However, the Cauilfolower mushroom should be cooked before eating to remove its low-level toxins.

It is very difficult to distinguish a False morel from a true morel, which is not poisonous. Even expert mushroom hunters sometimes accidentally collect false morels on their true morel hunts. 

False morels are usually darker in color and have drooping hats. True morels, on the other hand, are lighter in color and their hats are attached to the body.

What Are The Symptoms Of Eating Gyromitras?

The symptoms of eating a Gyromitra are:

  • Severe headaches 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness

Following these symptoms, lung inflammation and kidney dysfunction can be detected if not treated.

What do Gyromitras Taste Like?

Gyromitras have a sticky fruity scent and an earthy cedar-like flavor. Although Gyromitras taste and smell similar to True morels, they should never be confused with each other. 

True morels (Morchella) are non-poisonous and edible, while Gyromitras can be quite poisonous and deadly.

How Can you Tell the Difference Between Gyromitras And Morchellas?

Morchella (True Morels) are edible and have a world-famous flavor. Although Gyromitras and Morchellas are very similar in appearance, they have some features that distinguish them from each other. 

The hats of Morchellas seem to hang onto their bodies, while the hats of Gyromitras appear drooping downwards and are detached from the body. In addition, Gyromitras are stockier and flatter, while Morchellas are longer and thinner. 

Are Gyromitras Poisonous to Touch?

Gyromitras will not cause you poisoning when touched. However, it is recommended to use a plastic glove while touching it, just in case, or wash your hands immediately afterward.

Some of the poisonous mushrooms can enter your system via various wounds on the skin. They can also enter your system if you touch your eyes or nose with poison left on your hands.

Are Gyromitras Hollow?

Most of the Gyromitra mushrooms are filled with white silky fibers. But among them, some species may be hollow. 

Morchellas are always hollow. When you cut a real morel in half, you can easily observe that it is empty. 

In Gyromitras, the situation is completely opposite. When you divide the Gyromitras in two, you will find a fiber of white hairs in them that are cottony to touch. But beware that some may be hollow when opened.