We all remember that scene in Frankenstein
where the monster awakens amidst flashes of lightning, but did you know that mushrooms could be stimulated the same way? At least that's what A.G. Hupfel Jr. claimed when he built his mushroom farm in a dismantled New York City brewery. He believed that artificial fogs and thunderstorms, as well as "a drumming kind of 'jazz music,'" would help mushrooms grow to the size of the fungal "hat" pictured left. Twice a week, the old brewery boiler would pass steam through the refrigerating apparatus, creating the fog needed for "irrigation." To help his mushrooms breathe, Hupfel generated electricity from static machines, which would produce oxygen in the same way lightning releases it from the air (earlier, he'd observed that wild mushrooms seemed to grow best during lightning storms). Finally, the jazz music produced a drumming beat that the mushrooms were supposed to respond to. Somehow (Hupfel wouldn't explain it to us), the rhythmic noise would speed up the formation of plant cells, and thus, the formation of mushrooms.
Read the full story in "Tiny Thunderbolts Help Mushrooms Grow"