General, Kids' Science Corner, Living Things

The Largest Living Thing Is…

A fungus. Yes, you read that right. The largest living thing on Earth is, in fact, a fungus.

How? Is there a gigantic mushroom hidden deep in a forest somewhere? Not exactly. Although that would be both really cool and a bit terrifying.

Could this be a giant mushroom hidden in the forest? Photo by Lum3n on

You see, a fungus is more than just a mushroom. It also has a web of mycelium – kind of similar to plant roots – that can go deep underground. And it is this trait that allows a fungus to become the largest living thing on Earth. The mycelium can grow and expand far past where you would see a single mushroom.

Photo by Landon Parenteau on

So, where is this fungus found? The Muir National Forest in the United States. But here’s the thing, you could travel there and never even see it since so much of it is found underground.

Want to know more? Great! Check out the video below. This video is geared towards K-5 students, but people of all ages could find it interesting. Are you a teacher, parent, or other person responsible for kids? Make sure to check out the resources below the video for related activities!


The worksheet below is a great resource to use along with this video! The answer page is first with a blank version second.

More Fungi Fun:

Do you want more fungi activities for kids? Check out the resources below!

National Science Teaching Association Fungi Resources

GoodReads review on the book “Humongous Fungus”

North American Mycological Association K-6 Resources

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