Can anyone identify this... Thing?
June 17, 2014 2:08 PM   Subscribe

One of the kiddos in my Cousin's class found this: rando nature doodad Data points - she is located in Iowa. She describes it as being squishy and the white bit feels kind of like a hard boiled egg. Any ideas?
posted by sleepykitties to Science & Nature (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Gall aphids and honeydew, maybe? She would have mentioned if it had also been full of insects right?
posted by jessamyn at 2:18 PM on June 17, 2014

I'm betting some kind of fungus.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:19 PM on June 17, 2014

Response by poster: The theory is now old, stanky, rotten lychee...
posted by sleepykitties at 2:20 PM on June 17, 2014

Can you cut it in half and show us?

Also lychees are translucent, and the shell doesn't look the same.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:23 PM on June 17, 2014

A frozen potato?
posted by Carol Anne at 2:36 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

It looks like it could be a really rotten black walnut fruit on which some fungusy scuzz has grown. Location works out but the season doesn't (I think usually they drop in autumn). How big is this thing? If it's lychee-sized that would be about right.
posted by phunniemee at 2:52 PM on June 17, 2014

Is it attached to the stick?
posted by geegollygosh at 3:35 PM on June 17, 2014

In the yard of a previous house, I found mushrooms/toadstools growing that looked somewhat like the picture. They popped up as totally black balls; I was advised "DON'T EAT THEM" and to get rid of them lest any animal might ingest them. No one could tell me they were, and I did not open them to see if they had a squishy white interior.
posted by Cranberry at 3:43 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cranberry, I favorited you because I swear I have seen a "what is this thing" question either on here or reddit that contained a picture almost identical to this one, and I remember it being a fungus, but all of my searches have thus far proved fruitless. I will keep trying.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 9:40 PM on June 17, 2014

maybe check out earth star fungus? the ones that aren't fully open are close to a match, though i'm not wagering anything on that being The Right Answer.
posted by miss patrish at 11:09 PM on June 17, 2014

Could it be a truffle?
posted by Grunyon at 5:04 AM on June 18, 2014

Oak gall
posted by bricoleur at 7:57 AM on June 18, 2014

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