Natural Selections: NAP

A sonic account of an unintentional ingestion of Amanita bisporigera, or Destroying Angel, one of the world’s most poisonous mushrooms. Vancouver’s Daniel Rincon, aka NAP, lets its undulating toxicity wash over us until it all washes away.

Amanita bisporigera, or Destroying Angel, is a poisonous white-gilled mushroom that can be found in mixed coniferous and deciduous forests from eastern North America south to Mexico, also appearing in pine plantations in Colombia. Due to its unassuming appearance, A. bisporigera is responsible for most of the deadly mushroom poisonings in the world.

Novice mushroom pickers often mistake the features of A. bisporigera with those of edible mushrooms, such as the paddy straw mushroom or other Agaric species. Upon consumption, A. bisporigera releases a family of amatoxins which cause severe gastrointestinal stress (diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain) within 5 to 24 hours of ingestion.

These initial symptoms subside only to reappear a few days later, foolishly convincing the victim they have passed into safety. However, by this time liver and kidney damage can be so severe that the victim may descend into a hepatic coma, often resulting in death. As little as half a mushroom cap can be fatal if the victim is not treated quickly enough.

Inaugurating the Natural Selections mix series, NAP illustrates what it might be like to ingest A. bisporigera and receive a visit from the Destroying Angel. The innocence of inoculation, the undulating waves of toxicity, and the rhythmic crash of eventual demise. A sonic account on the effects of amatoxins on our bodies and perhaps a warning to the novice mushroom pickers to educate themselves about proper mushroom identification.

Learn more about NAP