Mushrooms and mycelium are an essential part of the planet's ecosystem and the life cycle as they recycle nutrients, keeping forests healthy.
Mycelium is the technical term for the cells that make up the root systems of mushrooms. The mushroom caps themselves are the "fruit" of the fungi.
Mycelium looks like intertwined threads, which bundle up to form the mushroom. Mycelium can be found just about all over our planet, from cold hill tops to warm, tropical rainforests. It has unique enzymes that can break down the component cells of wood, cellulose and lignin. But Mycelium can not only decompose plants, but also complex chemicals. This means that it can be used up to clean up oil spills and other types of soil or water contamination.
In other promising experiments, mycelium has been grown on woodchips and placed in sacks to filter water which contains petroleum products, heavy metals and toxic bacteria.