Neil deGrasse Tyson Talks Psychedelic Mushrooms And The Weird World Of Fungi On His Podcast


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockAug 10 2021, 14:26 UTC
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson, usually consumed with the world astrophysics and planetary science, ventures into the world of mycology. Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

If you thought mushrooms were just slimy grey things you put on a pizza, you're gravely mistaken. 

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson recently spoke to Merlin Sheldrake on his podcast StarTalk about the immense fungi kingdom. For those unaware, Merlin is a British biologist with a PhD in tropical ecology from Cambridge University and the author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures. He documented his book being chowed down upon by a bunch of fungi for a refreshingly creative book launch campaign. 


Inevitably, when discussing the wonders of mycology, psychedelic “magic mushrooms” and psilocybin were brought up. Among the many discussion points, the pair talk about subjects ranging from whether psilocybin had a significant role in human evolution to the future use of psychoactive mushrooms for the treatment of mental health. 

There was also discussion beyond the psychedelics, including whether fungi could seed life elsewhere in the solar system and the incredible abilities of fungal networks.

“Man, I have a whole new respect for mushrooms now,” Neil remarked. 


Check out the full podcast below:



Receive our biggest science stories to your inbox weekly!

  • tag
  • mushrooms,

  • fungi,

  • psilocybin,

  • magic mushrooms,

  • drugs,

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson,

  • Merlin Sheldrake