Psilocybin fights potential attackers!

Posted under: News and Science

The hallucinogenic substance Psilocybin that puts the “magic” in magic mushrooms may have originally evolved as a protection against insect attack, according to a new study.

The same chemicals that make humans “trip” may also repel insects by manipulating their brain chemistry and save the mushrooms from being eaten, according to a team of scientists led by Professor Jason Slot, a fungus specialist at The Ohio State University.

These insects pose a threat to the mushrooms’ survival, and the scientists suggested psilocybin may have evolved as a means to counteract this threat. "We speculate that mushrooms evolved to be hallucinogenic because it lowered the chances of the fungi getting eaten by insects," said Professor Slot.  

The results of their work were published in the journal Evolution Letters

It's pretty cool to know that the mushrooms are badass and have figured out a way to defend themselves in the jungle.