Los Matango son especies de hongo inusuales y no descubiertas que habitan su propia isla en el Océano Pacifico Sur. Después, un barco que fue dañado en una tormenta, paro en la isla, su tripulación trato de encontrar comida, y se metieron en una maravilla natural. Aparentemente algunos lagos de agua fueron escavados en el suelo, y fueron llenados con agua de lluvia, y un interminable suministro de misteriosos hongos. La tripulación se fue a buscar otra comida, pero no encontraron nada excepto los hongos. Ante el temor de comer algo que no sabían si les podía perjudicar o no, la tripulación resistió comerlos. Extrañamente, ellos también descubrieron que otro bote había previamente arribado en la isla, sin embargo estaba cubierto de moho que intentaron limpiar usando un blanqueador.
Eventually, hunger set in, and one of the crew, desperate, ate some of the mushrooms. At first, they seemed to be perfectly fine, but over time, the mushrooms began to colonize their body in a way that was similar to the Cordyceps fungus. In addition, the infected crew member convinced more of his friends to eat the mushrooms, though this was probably a result of the Matango's own abilities. Eventually, all but one of the of the crew, Kenji, became infected by the Matango, and were reduced to the point of lumbering, insane, walking mushrooms.
Kenji escapes on the intact boat, and travels to Tokyo. At the end of the film it is revealed that he too is infected by the Matango, and is slowly beginning to transform, noting that the Humans and the Matango are very much alike.
- The Matango are able to transform other creatures into Matango when they are eaten by them.
Video Game Appearances
In the Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, the Matango appear in their own hyperspace level sections in which the player, controlling Godzilla or Mothra, must destroy or evade a large Matango hive (coming in three different levels of difficulty) in order to clear the level. While trying to destroy the hive the player must also contend with projectile spores and even smaller individual floating Matango. Matango Hives can also appear shortly before the player fights one of the game's bosses, and attacking the Matango spawned from the hive rewards the player with health power-ups.
- Main article: Gallery:Matango.
Initially, a Matango's host sounds and speaks like any human. After the Matango begins to fully colonize the person, their sounds are reduced to grunts and deep voiced laughter.
- The Matango's grunts and laughter were later reused for the popular Ultraman alien, Alien Baltan.
- Their laughter was also slightly raised in pitch, then reused for the Ultraman Leo alien, Alien Flip.