Observation 70778: Lichen P. Micheli

When: 1980-01-01

Collection location: Iceland [Click for map]

Who: Danny Newman (myxomop)

No specimen available

Peppered throughout the internet are tales of psychoactive species of saxicolous lichens, though no two are gossiped over quite so much as Jievut Hiawsik — the “Earth Flower” of the Pima and Papago Indian tribes (http://mushroomobserver.org/70776) — and an unidentified species from Iceland, which apparently made its popular debut in the following 2006 Vice Magazine article:

“Stoned on Stones”
by Paul Lup-Tze
Vice Magazine, Volume 13 Number 36: Monday, July 3rd, 2006.

“It was the most intense hallucinogenic experience that I’ve ever had, and I’ve done every trip there is,” says Icelandic writer Smari Einarsson. “DMT, peyote… you name it. We have these magic mushrooms here that grow wild. I’ve eaten those more times than I can count. They cannot even come close to the effect of these rocks.”

Volcanic rocks, which cover the Icelandic landscape, have been getting local kids high for five years now, ever since a local artist did a performance piece called Rock Soup. Jon Sigmundson’s art piece was meant to make a commentary on Icelanders’ high standard of living, which he believes relies on taking for grated third-world suffering. He made rock soup, he said in a written statement, to “try and live on nothing.” The serendipitous discovery he made is that these rocks get you fuggin’ wasted.

It is actually the lichen that lives on the rocks that gets you off. You take a few stones, boil them in a pot of water, strain it all through a colander, and drink it down like tea. Some people add ginger and honey, but it really has a nice taste undiluted. It’s very earthy.

People who have “taken stones,” as it is called, share strikingly similar stories.

“Trolls,” says a young Icelandic girl who was interviewed at local Reykjavik bar Sirkus. She’ll only give her first name, which is Essa. “Every time we do stones, we see the same group of trolls. They are not unkind, but they aren’t overly friendly either,” she says. “Mostly what they do is advise you. You always come away from a stones trip with a question that you had on your mind answered. You also see the most vivid colors ever. It’s like living in Fantasia!”

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Add Comment
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-08-22 15:03:24 JST (+0900)

is the image included in the article, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it were some stock photo rather than the lichen described.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2011-08-20 16:10:41 JST (+0900)
once your eyes stop rolling
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-07-03 14:39:27 JST (+0900)

consider that this thrill-seeking dribble might actually be representative of some kernel of ethnobotanical truth. Of course, it could be grade A bollocks just as well. Despite that strides made here to elucidate the identity of this species (or cluster of spp.) might only serve to encourage the hippie masses to descend on little old Iceland, leaving no stone un-boiled, it seems a worthy case to crack, once and for all.