In the universe of No Man's Sky there's an animal that's only been spotted a few times. Called the Greater Mushroom Beetle, these are creatures that No Man's Sky players tried to locate for months on end. Yesterday, another specimen was finally discovered in the player-created Galactic Hub, and the community is hyped.
I first heard of the Greater Mushroom Beetle six months ago, when Galactic Hub founder 7101334 told me he's only seen it three times: two in screenshots, and one in person, which he dubbed the Kesey Beetle. Beetles with mushrooms on their backs are quite rare in No Man's Sky, and according to 7101334, beetles with full size mushrooms are even rarer.
Giant size creatures are even rarer than that, and 7101334 was hoping to find a beetle massive in size. He said he knew it must exist. "I knew it would exist just be virtue of how NMS procedural generation works - all terrestrial species should hypothetically be capable of hitting the same maximum heights," he said.
The No Man's Sky Zoology community is dedicated to cataloguing and sharing the game's more interesting creatures and they have long had a Hall of Fame for players that find the largest or smallest fauna.
For 7101334, an eight meter tall Greater Mushroom Beetle is his personal "white whale," and five months ago he tried to get the community to search for the species in earnest. But, despite everyone's efforts, nobody could find it - until yesterday, when a player stumbled upon one by accident.
Jeremiah, the player who finally found one of these beetles, said that he has been playing No Man's Sky since launch, and he recently got back into the game because he wanted to join the Galactic Hub, which is a player driven community that maps and catalogues a portion of the Euclid Galaxy.
After putting 120 hours into the game since returning to it in January, he finally established a base in the Hub yesterday. He found an unusual, massive beetle with a mushroom sprouting from its back on his planet of choice, and posted an image of it on the Hub's Reddit. "My reaction when I saw it was I was just amazed. I immediately called my wife over to the computer screen to show her what I had found," he said.
"This was all before I even realised just how rare of a discovery it was."
"I honestly had no idea whatsoever that anyone was looking for the [Greater Mushroom Beetle]," Jeremiah said. When you see what it looks like, you'll understand why 7101334 has been hunting them for so long.
Jeremiah included a picture that shows the scale of these beetles, which he's calling the Giant Shiitake Beetle. To the right is an animal the size of a tiger. The Giant Shiitake Beetle is truly massive.
7101334 says that he doesn't mind that someone else spotted the beetle before him. He's just glad to know the location of this creature and, "even happier that it's in the Hub," he said.
"I think it's a pretty huge deal," he said. "It's not often that you can say 'this is the only species like this in the known universe' unless you focus on very minute details."
Now that 7101334's white whale has been found, he's on the hunt for more, and for even larger Greater Mushroom Beetles. He's also got a couple of other species on his zoology checklist, like something similar to the now-extinct Caesarus.
Previously, the tyrannosaurus-esque dinosaur with an insectoid head was the largest species in game, but it disappeared from the universe after the Atlas Rises update. Somewhere in the universe of No Man's Sky, 7101334 is sure he can find something just as weird and gigantic.