Q: I recently visited my father in south Georgia (Seminole County), and was curious about a mushroom or fungus that was growing in his yard. It looks as if it’s from another planet! I did notice that there were several flies and beetles attracted to it. Thanks for any information you can give me on it!
A: The phrase “flies and beetles are attracted to it” tells me it is likely a member of the stinkhorn family. These mushrooms use the smell of rotting flesh to attract insects, which then spread the mushroom spores to nearby habitat.
Stinkhorns are visually divided into those that are phallus-like and those that aren’t. It’s hard to ID them without seeing the original ball from which it emerged but it might be the cage-like latticed stinkhorn Clathrus ruber.
and Mushroom Web