Picture up above is Mount Osore, located on a remote peninsula in Japan. Mount Osore is a volcano that hasn’t erupted since 1787, and popular mythology will have you believe that the volcanic wasteland actually marks the entrance to Hell, with its name literally translating to Mount Fear (aka Fear Mountain).
Bubbling sulfur pits, noxious fumes and howling winds no doubt are responsible for the area being considered a conduit to another world, and Mount Osore has become an incredibly sacred place, where many visit in an attempt to make contact with the dead.
But perhaps the strangest thing about the so-called Fear Mountain are the highly unique mushrooms that grow there, which exist nowhere else in the world…
As you can see, these ‘Skull Mushrooms’ most definitely live up to their name, with the caps of them resembling the shape of a human skull, both on the front and back. ‘Big Skull Mushrooms’ measure up to 12.5″ tall, with the ‘Princess Skull’ variety measuring a little bit smaller. There’s also a ‘Devil Skull’ variation, which is an orange-reddish color.
Unusually large numbers of these mushrooms sprang up in the wake of 2011’s Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which caused over 15,000 deaths. A similar skull mushroom bloom occurred after a deadly earthquake in 1923, which has led many to believe that the strange mushrooms are literally grown from death.
Not surprisingly, the unique mushrooms are often used for spiritual rituals, and they’re thought to possess medicinal properties.