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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Evolutionarily speaking, mushrooms are technically a type of ghost.
Title text: Evolutionarily speaking, mushrooms are technically a type of ghost.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Other interpretations of the growling mushroom and the ghost in the title text, or more on the existing may be relevant...

Cueball is looking at a mushroom contemplating how weird they are when Megan adds another layer to their weirdness by supplying the trivia that evolutionarily, mushrooms are closer to the animal kingdom than to plants on the tree of life.

Both animals and fungi are part of the opisthokont group, while plants are in archaeplastida group with the algae. This surprises Cueball, as he like many other people is likely to think of mushrooms as plants as they are "grown" just like other crops. But what people with this misconception often fail to remember are facts like the fact that the edible mushrooms like Agaricus bisporus (or white mushroom) are farmed in caves without any sunlight, which is a prerequisite for any plant life, as all plants need to be able to use photosynthesis to grow, and thus needs sunlight.

Megan then walks away, and Cueball, after pondering the mushroom a while further, gets up and walks away too. But as soon as Cueball has his back turned the mushroom growls after him. Cueball spins around to look back at the now again silent mushroom. This is a bit of absurdist humor; while mushrooms are technically more animal-like than plant-like (they are eukaryotic organisms that do not use photosynthesis) fungi are still so far removed from animals they wouldn't have any of the body parts needed to growl. Cueball's shock and astonishment is quite justified, and maybe it was just his imagination running wild after Megan's trivia.

The title text takes this further, by stating that mushrooms are technically a type of ghost. Arguably, since they arise from decaying remains. The title text may refer to 1240: Quantum Mechanics or 1475: Technically.


[Cueball is squatting in front of a group of four mushrooms (two tiny, one small and one large), touching the top of the nearest and largest mushroom with a finger. This mushroom has several small dots, which becomes more visible in later panels. The other three mushrooms do not appear to have these dots. Megan is standing behind him looking on.]
Cueball: Mushrooms are so weird.
Megan: You know, evolutionarily, they're closer to being animals than to plants.
[Megan starts walking away as Cueball now leans on the ground with the hand he touched the mushroom with. Only the large mushroom is visible in this and the rest of the panels.]
Cueball: ...Really?
Megan: Yup!
[In a frame-less panel Cueball still squats in front of the mushroom, now resting his hand on his knees.]
[Cueball stands up looking down at the mushroom.]
[Cueball is walking away as the mushroom makes a sound indicated with several small lines emanating from the top of the mushroom along with a regular speech line.]
Mushroom: Grrrr
[Cueball snaps around to look at the mushroom again, standing in a prepared state arms slightly out and legs spread out as well.]

<--Mentioning that mushrooms are closer to animals than plants-->

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