Spore Mine

A cave full of sticky eggs

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Mineral mining is about efficiently removing valuable material from a mine. Spore mining is a little bit different, at least on Praxa IV. The fungus here matures rapidly, and dries into a remarkably tough material that makes effective padding and insulation with a small amount of processing. But perhaps most impressive is the virility of the mushrooms. A small scratch or nick was all it took to scatter hundreds of spores in a fine, powdery mist. It was impossible to harvest one without planting a few dozen more. So working a spore mine required clearing a section thoroughly, then returning in a few days later to clear it again. Left untended, the growth gets out of control. The excess of spores released during harvest creates a population boom, and entire caverns can fill wall to wall with fungal growth. As the sprouts compete for space, they push against each other and fill any gap they can find. This is what the spore miners call a "shroom plug", a growth so dense and thick it effectively shuts down access to an entire shaft of the mine. Often it's not worth the effort to carve through a shroom plug, so it was imperative that the spore miners maintained a steady and reliable harvest schedule.

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Art and Writing: 
Yamen
Fractal rendered with Fractorium.