You are currently viewing What is Black Fungus? A Primer on This Mysterious Organism

What is Black Fungus? A Primer on This Mysterious Organism

What Is Black Fungus? When people think of black fungus, they might be surprised to learn that it’s actually not a fungus at all. This particular species, called black jelly fungus, or Sphaerobolus, was discovered in the 19th century by German mycologist August Carl Joseph Corda, who thought it was actually a fungus when he first saw it in his mother’s garden, according to Atlas Obscura .

However, after further study, he realized that while it looked like certain types of fungi, he could not place it in any one family of fungi.

Myths and Facts

The black fungus isn’t actually a fungus at all. It’s a member of Phylum Oomycota, an order that also includes mushrooms, rusts and water molds.

Scientists used to place oomycetes in their own kingdom, but eventually moved them into Plantae after identifying many similarities between these organisms and other plants.

Causes of Black Fungus

What Is Black Fungus and What Causes It? Though what is black fungus may have unpleasant connotations, it’s actually a helpful natural substance.

As part of its function as an immune system enhancer, a healthy body has hundreds of trillions of bacteria in its system. Each person has his or her own unique blend of beneficial microorganisms.

The presence of what is black fungus in one’s digestive tract can help ensure that things are working well, with few bugs to contend with. However, something can happen during one’s lifetime to disturb these bacteria.

Signs of an Infestation

While it’s a fact that black fungus lives almost everywhere, it only appears in your home when there’s too much moisture present. What kind of moisture are we talking about here? Bathrooms, basements and laundry rooms are common homes for black fungus.

During infestation season (typically summertime), pay attention to where mold is growing. If you find it growing behind wall outlets or near drains, chances are high that there’s a larger problem at hand.

Other signs of an infestation include slimy spots or a musty odor lingering in certain areas of your home.

How To Treat

While black fungus can’t be cured, it does respond well to antifungal medications.

Although symptoms usually appear in spring and summer, people have been known to contract black fungus as early as September and as late as November.

To help treat these symptoms, follow a low-sugar diet with plenty of liquids. The skin lesions will go away on their own after three weeks, but they’ll often leave discolored patches that last longer. For those who aren’t keen on having visible evidence of fungal growth in their lawn or garden, applications of dicarboximide fungicides or potassium bicarbonate may speed up treatment time by one to two weeks (source). As always with any illness or infection—talk to your doctor before taking medication without prescription!