Mushrooms have always had a mystical, yet earthy character, steeped in folklore and infinitely varied in colour, shape and properties. But it is the way they grow; appearing from nowhere in groups and circles, congregating in the darkest, mustiest corners, or off other living organisms that really enchants me.

Artist Amy Ross

These beautiful photos by Takashi Homma of mushrooms he has taken while investigating the effects of nuclear plants on Fukushima forest life are ghostly, ethereal and magical.

Takahi Homma for thisispaper.com

They bring to mind the sinister and vaporous Hattifatti from Tove Jansson’s Moomin series (those of you who know me know I have a slight obsession with Tove Jansson which I will try and keep in check), which move as one indecipherable mass, towards a single-minded goal.

Illustration by Tove Jansson

Or Jellyfish, travelling as one beautiful, yet indistinct group, plotting some kind of alien invasion yet floating as lightly as petals…

Courtesy of The National Geographic