Man startled by 'weird' pair of eyes found in his garden

The man admitted he was momentarily confused trying to figure out what he was looking at... and whether it was looking back at him.

The flat flesh-coloured base, paired with the squishy-looking balls protruding from its centre appears like eyes in the soil.
The shocking discovery of the 'weird face' staring at the man made him jump. Source: Facebook

A homeowner's bizarre backyard discovery has left him shocked and momentarily confused after it appeared "two eyes" were staring up at him from the dirt on Wednesday. Despite the unusual sight not being what it seems, one expert has said more people can expect to see something similar in the coming weeks.

The discovery was made in Pongakawa on New Zealand's north island. The flat, flesh-coloured base paired with the squishy-looking balls protruding from their centre, made it appear like eyes were emerging from the garden. However upon closer inspection and a quick Google search, the man confirmed to Yahoo News what he had stumbled upon — earth stars.

While the name is otherworldly, it denotes a type of fungi.

There are 64 species of the fungi and half a dozen of them are found in Australia, fungi expert Brett Summerell told Yahoo News.

There is no known reason why they look like eyes but once the fungi sprouts, these look like eyelashes, making it even more of a "strange" resemblance.

"When they sprout it can almost look like eyelashes on these eyeball structures... you do get this impression of two eyes looking at you when you look down at the soil," Summerell said.

The Geastrum velutinum species of earthstar found on an New Zealand forest floor. Source: NZ Government
The Geastrum velutinum species of earthstar found on an New Zealand forest floor. Source: NZ Government

The fungi are found throughout Australia and favour wet soil, meaning this time of year they're more "abundant". There is often more than just two cluttered in the soil.

"They really are more abundant as we go into the late part of autumn, early winter and particularly where there's been plenty of rainfall. We're seeing lots of them at the moment," he said.

Despite their unusual look, Summerell confirmed they are "not toxic at all" and pose no risks if physical contact is made with them. In fact, he often squeezes them to show his young relatives what they look like inside.

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