Have Questions?Ask An Expert
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures (Paperback)
A mind-altering look at the secret lives of fungi and the extraordinary ways they shape our world
Fungi are some of the most widespread, strange, important, and neglected organisms on the planet, and vital to nearly all living systems. Merlin Sheldrake is a scientist who specializes in the behaviour of this massively diverse kingdom of life. His revelatory introduction to this world will show us how fungi, and our relationships with them, are vastly more astonishing than we could have imagined.
Living at the border between life and non-life, fungi use diverse cocktails of potent enzymes and acids to disassemble some of the most stubborn substances on the planet, turning rock into soil and wood into compost which allows plants to grow. Fungi not only help create soil, they send out networks of tubes that enmesh roots and link plants together in the "Wood Wide Web." Fungi also drive many long-standing human fascinations: from yeasts that cause bread to rise and orchestrate the fermentation of sugar into alcohol; to psychedelic fungi; and the mold that produces penicillin and revolutionized modern medicine.
Merlin Sheldrake brings to light science's latest discoveries and ingeniously parses the varieties and behaviors of the fungi themselves, all while keeping us tuned to the fundamental questions fungi raise about the nature of intelligence and identity.
About the Author:
Merlin Sheldrake has a PhD in mycology and the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University, where he was a prize-winning scholar. He is also a musician and a keen fermenter. This is his first book.