Pestalotiopsis Microspora, a.k.a. Plastic Eating Fungi

Photo Credit: WV Outpost

As my husband draws closer to retirement age, I start to ponder the future and what it will hold for us. Having been self-employed most of his years, he has not had the opportunity that his parents had of a pension or an employer-funded retirement program. So we will be looking at making it on our own with the rental houses we have invested in.

But there is always that thought swirling through the backs of our minds of moving somewhere else and living a slower paced (read: cheaper) existence. We see articles all the time about moving to another country, where your money can buy you more and the climate is good. And of course, I start to think about how exciting that would be since we both love to travel so much, but the thought of being away from my own children causes me to step back and try to figure out if it would be worth the sacrifice. Then again, my children are being raised in a global world –- where they most likely will not be tied to any one spot; they will not be driving back and forth to a 9 to 5 job; and they could be living anywhere in the world and doing their job virtually.

So maybe I should check into the newest hot spot: Ecuador. They have inexpensive housing, cheap food, low cost labor, and rock bottom — yet quality — healthcare. Oh, and did I mention — they have Pestalotiopsis microspora?! Coincidence? I think not.

To me, it’s the hottest news out of Ecuador this year. No, these are not some kind of psychedelic mushrooms you can smoke! And don’t worry, you won’t have to head into the hospital with a mere $20 copay and $5 prescription if you happen to have Pestalotiopsis. This recent discovery by some Yale students studying in the Amazon jungle in Ecuador could be the biggest ecological news of the decade. And yet, I don’t hear anyone talking about it! (Someone quick, tell Adele -– she can have it all!)

This super cool fungus can live solely on polyurethane. Oh yeah baby, you heard it from me: it EATS plastic! And this is the kind of plastic that is around us all the time, like the stuff that makes the dashboard on your car or the hose in your garden. We are talking everyday stuff that we can’t live our lives without, like the soles on your shoes and the case to your laptop!

And get this — our newest BFF in the fungi world can live off of polyurethane in an oxygen-free environment, which is pretty much what you have at the bottom of our landfills. This is BIG NEWS, folks!

Now if only they could find its cousin fungi — the one that quickly eats dust bunnies, toilet bowl scum rings, and dirty dishes…