This week, the question was: What are these weird-looking things coming out of the leaf litter in a wooded area?
These are stinkhorn mushrooms, not aliens. Stinkhorns are different from other mushrooms which disperse their spores by releasing them into the air. Instead, they produce their spores in a sticky substance known as the gleba. As the name suggests, stinkhorns emit a strong odor that is displeasing to people but attractive to flies. As flies land on the mushrooms, the gleba sticks to their feet and is dispersed as the flies move to and land on other surfaces. Stinkhorns are harmless and feed on decaying plant material. Read all about stinkhorns here.