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Discover the ecological internet of fungal mycelium in the soil that makes terrestrial life on Earth possible.

Suppose you want to learn the fascinating ecology of the mighty fungi. In that case, there’s no better way to illuminate their invisible webs of mycelium than by watching mushroom ecology documentaries.

Mycology is the study of the kingdom of fungi, the often overlooked but perhaps most important part of restoring biodiversity and reversing climate change. Mushrooms are the fruiting reproductive bodies of these underground networks of invisible fungal mycelium that interconnect trees and plants through their root systems.

Come down the rabbit hole into the fascinating world of fungi beneath your feet and how they create the soil that makes your life possible. Learn about the science of mushrooms for improving human and ecosystem health with these different mushroom documentaries that each shine a spotlight on the world of fungi and the study of mycology.

1. Fantastic Fungi

This is my recommendation for the #1 must-watch mushroom documentary. Fantastic Fungi features the work of Paul Stamets and the mind-blowing mushroom time-lapses of legendary cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg. You can watch the full documentary on Netflix.

2. What Was The First Fungus?

A fantastic documentary telling the story of how fungi created the soils of the Earth and lay the foundations for plants, animals and human beings.

3. Sacred Mushroom: A Lost History

This mind expanding documentary explores the sacramental use of mushroom species since time immemorial, examining the evidence for their use in Ancient Egypt, India, China, and beyond.

4. Know Your Mushrooms

Amateur mycologist Ron Mann investigates the miraculous, near-secret world of fungi by combining material filmed at the Telluride Mushroom Fest with animation and archival footage in one of the best mushroom documentaries you can watch online.

5. The Magic of Mushrooms

English Professor Richard Fortey delves into the fascinating and normally hidden kingdom of fungi. From their spectacular birth, through their secretive underground life to their final explosive death, reveals a remarkable world that few of us understand yet all life on Earth depends on it. Not great quality, but a highly recommended documentary.

6. A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin

This documentary film chronicles the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients using psilocybin, a psychoactive compound found in some mushrooms, to facilitate deeply spiritual experiences.

7. Magic Medicine: The Possible Effect of Mushrooms Treating Depression

Can magic mushrooms cure depression? Over two years this Magic Medicine documentary follows the first-ever medical trial of psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms) being used to treat a group of volunteers suffering from clinical depression.

8. Planet Fungi: The Fungi Photography of Stephen Axford

World-famous photographer Stephen Axford deploys his unique expertise in macro images and time-lapse photography of fungi. The beauty and scientific accuracy of Stephen’s fungi photography have captivated national and international media, fungi experts, and the general public.

9. Discover Mushrooms In The Pacific Northwest

Mushroom Wonderland filmmaker Aaron Hilliard, in association with Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society, takes you on a mushroom foraging adventure in the fertile temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.

10. Is Mycelium Fungus the Plastic of the Future?

Plastics have changed the course of manufacturing forever but at a huge cost. Mycelium technology might be the solution and the next big boom. Imagine a sustainable, biodegradable plastic-like replacement with so many uses and new opportunities for products, companies, and profits.

11. Flora, Fauna, Funga

A short National Geographic documentary that follows Chilean mycologist Giuliana Furci’s, English mycologist Merlin Sheldrake and Dutch mycologist Toby Kiers on their search for new mushrooms in far southern Chile, on the main island of Tierra del Fuego.

In the film, these mycology pioneers make the argument for flora, fauna and funga — recognizing the key role of fungi in conservation as fungi underpin every ecosystem on Earth but are often overlooked in environmental policy.

12. Fungi And The Life Of A Forest

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Wood Wide Web? This short documentary explores the crucial role of fungi in forest ecology. While most of the fungal organisms are invisible and underground in the soil, they play a key role in storing carbon in the soil and the functioning of healthy forest ecosystems.

13. The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World

Join legendary Canadian biologist David Suzuki and a team of leading fungi researchers on a fascinating journey through the evolutionary story of how fungi shaped all terrestrial life — including us.

14. The Mysterious Mushroom Man

The story of amateur mycologist Gordon Wasson who launched the modern psychedelic movement with his 1957 photo essay “Seeking the Magic Mushroom” which tells the story of his experience taking psilocybin mushrooms with Mixteca shaman Maria Sabina.

15. Fungi: Web of Life Trailer

Experience the magic of mushrooms in IMAX. This new mushroom documentary based on the work of Merlin Sheldrake and his excellent mycology book Entangled Life is narrated by Icelandic musician and mushroom advocate Björk.

I hope you enjoy watching these mushroom documentaries and that they spark your curiosity to keep learning about the crucial role that fungi will play in the building of an ecological civilization.

Kyle Pearce

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