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Sphaerobolus stellatus                Big Bertha of the Fungus World

Fruitbodies are tiny, 1-2 mm across, whitish to straw-coloured or orange-yellow, with the outer wall splitting and reflexing to form a tiny star and expose the single, spherical "egg'. (=peridiole).  The peridiole (about 1mm in diam) is catapulted a distance of more than 6 metres. Widespread and not uncommon, Sphaerobolus fruits on rotting wood, manure and decomposing plant material.

Throwing a small object  close to 20 feet is an incredible accomplishment.  If you don't think so, pick up a crumb of bread and see how far you can throw it!

Big Bertha was the huge gun developed by the Germans in the first world war. It was designed and produced in the Krupp factory in Germany and named after Krupp's wife Bertha ( I don't know if they asked permission or not!)    The shells weighed close to 2000 lbs and were shot a distance of about 10 miles.    Only a few were made. Originally they were moved around by rail but later they had a model that was hauled around  in pieces by tractors for greater mobility and assembled on site.    However, it needed  200 men about a day to put it together, so it wasn't the gun to end all guns and  Big Bertha was 'decommisioned' before the end of the war.  I think the original idea was to shell Paris but they never got close enough or had a trajectory long enough.