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Rudolph the Shrooming Reindeer

Rudolph the Shrooming Reindeer

Does this mushroom's color scheme remind you of anyone? A certain airborne holiday superhero maybe?

Make yourself comfortable, it's story time. Reindeer in the Arctic circle apparently enjoy munching on Fly Agaric mushrooms. The red and white toadstools in old school Smurf cartoons were likely inspired by the colorful fungus. Fly Agarics are known to contain hallucinogenic chemicals. No one knows how the reindeer are affected by consuming the mushrooms, but it turns out the antlered mammals of Christmas legend aren't the only fans of the fungus.

The Sami people, native to Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, have been involved with reindeer husbandry for thousands of years. Lapps, or Laplanders as they are also known, utilize reindeer for many purposes, including transportation in the form of sled-pulling. In the past, Sami shamans imbibed Fly Agaric in their visionary rituals. They even drank urine from reindeer believed to be under the influence of the plant medicine. Did I mention they've been known to don red and white threads in homage to the speckled crimson entheogen they ingest?

To recap, there were living, breathing humans who wore mushroom-inspired red and white garb and rode on sleighs pulled by reindeer. Eat your heart out, Imaginary Santa Claus.