Mushrooms must be the closest thing to alien life we’ve ever seen on Earth. They grow in an array of colours and take odd and evocative shapes. They reproduce through shooting spores into the air. They can be poisonous, hallucination-inducing, or so delicious that people will spend thousands of dollars on them.
Yet, mostly, mushrooms go unnoticed by humans, who tend not to be the biggest fans of fungus. Nature photographer Filip Eremita, however, is showing a different side of fungi in a series of photos that shows the fantastical world of mushrooms that exists right under our feet. His photos present an incredible variety of toadstool shapes and sizes in astonishing miniature landscapes. Many of the mushrooms resemble beautiful sculptures: one has spotted bright-red cap; another explodes with hair-thin white spores; in several photos, mushrooms bend and tilt as though engaged in an intricate dance.
The Slovenian Eremita has foraged for mushrooms since he was four years old. As he told the Huffington Post, it was his grandmother who taught him where to look and which ones could be eaten, and he has carried on her tradition ever since. After years of peeking into the small but wondrous world of fungi, he is now using his photographic expertise to share what he sees. Here are some of his most beautiful and absurd images from the world of mushrooms.