Timelapse of the ‘alien’ looking Devil’s Finger or Octopus Fungus emerging from its ‘egg’.
According to Sarah Keartes at The Nerdist, this “hatching” is actually an ingenious reproduction technique.
The tentacles are laced with a foul smelling tissue, specially formulated to attract flies and other insects. When bugs come-a-knockin’, they get to feed on the slimy substance, but not before their feet are coated with fungus’ spores.
It’s a tactic also used by many stinkhorn fungi, which (like the devil’s finger) belong to the order phallales. Once the insects leave the area, they bring the precious spores with them, and thus the lifecycle can start anew.
You can read more about the fungus at The Nerdist.