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Amanita ocreata mushrooms

Amanita ocreata, one of the death angels or destroying angels, is a deadly fungus native to California and the North American Pacific Northwest. The large fruiting bodies (mushrooms) generally appear in spring, associating with oak trees. The stalk, ring, gills and volva are white, and the cap may be white or ochre, often developing a brownish centre. It can resemble the edible springtime amanita (A. velosa), coccora (A. lanei) or stubble rosegill (Volvariella speciosa), but is similar in toxicity to the death cap (A. phalloides) and to the destroying angels of Europe (A. virosa) and eastern North America (A. bisporigera). Its principal toxic constituent, α-amanitin, damages the liver and kidneys, and has no known antidote. The initial gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, subside after two or three days. Ongoing damage to internal organs can cause jaundice, diarrhea, delirium, seizures, coma, and in many cases, death from liver failure 6 to 16 days after ingestion. (Full article...)

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Gabrielle Scawthorn and Danielle Carter on stage at the Ensemble Theatre in New South Wales, Australia
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Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation (National Treasure No. 83)

The Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation is a gilt-bronze statue of what is believed to be the Maitreya, the future Buddha, in a semi-seated contemplative pose. The statue, which is thought to come from Silla, is 93.5 centimetres (36.8 in) in height. It is considered one of the finest Buddhist sculptures ever produced and now housed at the National Museum of Korea. Insured for an estimated 50 billion won, the statue is also the most expensive National Treasure of Korea.

Photograph: National Museum of Korea

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