Authorities have issued a warning after “magic mushrooms” were found growing at a popular pasture in Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山), saying the fungi are classified as a “Category 2” illegal drug.
Taipei’s Seventh Special Police Corps (保七總隊), in charge of public safety at Yangmingshan park, said they were alarmed at the discovery of “magic mushrooms” and have beefed up patrols in the park, which is frequented daily by city residents, hikers and tourists.
“We are paying close attention to this case and a team was dispatched this morning to collect the mushrooms. They will be sent for lab analysis,” said Wang Chi-cheng (王志成), head of the criminal investigation unit at the Seventh Special Police Corps.
Photo provided by the Criminal Investigation Bureau
“Before making a proper identification, we have reinforced patrols throughout all areas of Yangmingshan,” Wang told reporters.
The beefed-up patrols are needed because authorities have become aware of reports of the mushrooms creating a buzz both online and off the Web, mostly due to unfamiliarity and curiosity about this particular wild fungus with hallucinatory and psychedelic properties, Wang said.
According to a Chinese-language Apple Daily report on Monday, a man from Taipei surnamed Huang (黃) last month went to park’s Qingtiangang (擎天崗), a scenic mountain pasture still used by local farmers to graze cattle.
Huang said he found wild mushrooms, mostly white in color, growing on the cow dung. Thinking they were edible, the 24-year-old picked a bunch and took them home. He made a vegetable stir-fry with the mushrooms and consumed the dish.
Huang recalled that he began to experience something unusual.
“I felt light, like my body was floating in midair. I saw strange things and space seemed distorted. I also had this uncontrollable drooling,” he said, according to the newspaper report.
After coming down from the hallucinatory trip, which lasted about two hours, Huang was frightened and told a friend about the experience, who was certain Huang had eaten “magic mushrooms.”
According to experts, Huang had eaten psilocybin mushrooms, which contain the active ingredients psilocybin and psilocin.
Chen Chi-chen (陳啟禎), a biology professor at Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, said some indigenous people of central America used psilocybin mushrooms to induce psychedelic experiences during traditional ceremonies and religious rituals.
“In this case, the mushroom spores were eaten by cattle and expelled in their feces. When suitable temperature and humidity conditions were met, they sprouted on the dung and grew into mature mushrooms,” Chen said.
“They can also grow on other cool and wet mountain slopes around Taiwan, not just on Yangmingshan,” he added.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement warning the public not to pick any wild mushrooms found in mountainous areas and not to eat them.
“Psilocybin mushrooms affect the central nervous system, lead to muscle weakness, and may cause convulsions and lead to death in serious cases,” the administration said.
The statement stressed that psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in Taiwan, as they are considered a “Category 2” drug, alongside marijuana and amphetamine.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
UNCREWED CRAFT: A lack of domestic components and engine outsourcing show the need for Taiwan to develop a local drone supply chain, an analyst said The development of a fully domestic drone manufacturing supply chain is crucial to Taiwan’s ability to use the uncrewed aircraft effectively during wartime, a recent report from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research said. Ukraine’s experience in resisting Russia’s invasion demonstrated that civilian drones can provide valuable intelligence during wartime, but they must be manufactured domestically to ensure that foreign component makers cannot take control of the devices, the report said. In the report, institute researcher Chen Po-hung (陳柏宏) analyzed the security of Taiwan’s drone supply chain. Ukrainians have used civilian drones to locate Russian convoys and other targets, he said,
In the last few days before the local elections on Saturday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it is focusing on 10 regions it considers highly contested areas, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said it is stepping up campaigns across the nation. The DPP considers Keelung, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, and Maoli, Yilan, Nantou, Penghu, Changhua and Yunlin counties as areas where its candidates are facing fierce competition, a party source said. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) plan to visit those areas again this week, the source said. The night before the elections,
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking