In 2001, two scientists discovered a new species of Dictyophora mushroom which they claim to have an aphrodisiac quality. The new kind of mushroom was found in the volcanic mountains of Hawaii. It is said that this particular bright orange fungus only form and grow on dry lava flow that are 600-1000 years old.
John Halliday and Noah Soule travelled to Hawaii when they heard about these unusual fungi that supposedly bring one to orgasm with no apparent reason but just smelling it. Intrigue by this claim and the fact that no one has yet identified the mushroom, the pair headed to the island to confirm if this fantastical claim is true.
The scientists proceeded to put the mushroom to test by asking volunteers to take a sniff of the infamous fungus. As a subject take a deep whiff and breathe in its aroma, they record arousal levels. According to Snopes, an online journal that makes in depth study of rumors circulating around the world, the Halliday and Soule ‘’smell test” group involves 16 women and 20 men.
Six of these women reportedly had an instantaneous orgasm the moment they took a sniff of the fungus in question. The rest of the female volunteers (having received smaller doses, as the observation record claims) only experienced an increase in heart rate. All the men, on the other hand, have no other reaction whatsoever except an absolute revulsion towards its fetid smell.
From this experiment, the two scientists speculated that the morphology and chemistry of the fungus may have that effect on women. They concluded that the “hormone-like compounds present […] may have some similarity to human neurotransmitters released during sexual encounters.”
What is baffling about this is the fact that it has been more than ten years after the discovery of this Hawaiian fungus but there are no other scientific study concerning it except the ones conducted by Halliday and Soule which is actually a bit insubstantial with lots of questions left unanswered.
The story about this mushroom’s erotic potential only resurfaced when IFL Science wrote about it this week and people are now searching everywhere to know more about these rumors. Now, everyone is writing about it except the real experts — the scientists.