Why the Internet Needs Fungi

Like nature, the internet needs a self-regulating component that consumes dead material, before old and useless content overwhelms it.

Lance Ng
4 min readAug 23, 2021


Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

In nature, fungi are a harbinger of death and decay. Its function is to create space by getting rid of dead material and returning nutrients to the earth, so that new plants can grow and thrive.

And connecting the tens of thousands of different types of fungi is a vast and spectacular underground network of fibrous threads called mycelium — that mankind is only just beginning to understand. Mushrooms and toadstools are but the visible parts of this network beneath our feet, sprouting up like nodes from within this complex web of microscopic mycelium fibers.

This network, which some researchers have aptly dubbed the “wood wide web”, is very much like nature’s version of the internet. It allows plants to share information and resources, cooperate, collaborate, and even to sabotage each other or ‘commit crimes’, for the benefit of itself or the flora community around it.


This network is also programmed to ‘eat up’ the dead and dying within the ecosystem so that there is room for rebirth and renewal.

But unlike nature, the internet right now only has the ability to support the growth of new users and content within itself, but not the autonomous ability to get rid of those users or content once they have died or are no longer relevant.

So what then? We keep adding more and more servers and consume more and more energy to keep all these dormant websites and content alive?

When growth isn’t always good

Consider these statistics:

  • Digital marketing guru Neil Patel estimates that there are at least one billion blogs in the world . Other estimates range from half a billion to 600 million.