Date
27 July 2017
The mushrooms found on the tram resemble those of a highly poisonous species, a biologist said. Photos: CNSA, Facebook
The mushrooms found on the tram resemble those of a highly poisonous species, a biologist said. Photos: CNSA, Facebook

Mushrooms found growing on tram window frame

High humidity is being blamed for the growth of two mushrooms on a window frame on a tram. 

Hong Kong Tramways said Monday the fungi were removed after a routine check, and suggested that their appearance was the result of the recent humid weather, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Relative humidity was 95 percent or higher in the past few days, data from the Hong Kong Observatory showed.

A netizen saw the mushrooms and posted a photo of them on Facebook.

The picture went viral, perhaps because the mushrooms looked quite big in it.

They were actually the size of a Hong Kong 50-cent coin, the tram operator said.

The firm said mushrooms can grow overnight, and they weren’t there when its employees conducted regular checks on Sunday.

It promised to ask employees to check more often to make sure there are no foreign objects on the trams.

After looking at the photo, Ken Yung Kin-lam, deputy head of the biology department at Hong Kong Baptist University, was quoted by am730.com as saying the mushrooms found on the tram could be Chlorophyllum molybdites, which is highly poisonous.

Yung urged people not to eat or even touch it.

He suspected that spores of the mushroom had lain dormant in the wooden frame of the tram window for some time, and the recent high humidity created a perfect environment for them to grow overnight.

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TL/AC/FL

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