While exploring the deep woods of Tar Hollow State Forest the other day, I came across both representatives of one of our more bizarre plant families. Both species are below.
Although a bit past peak, it is still easy to see how Indian-pipe came by its specific epithet, uniflora: one-flowered. Indian-pipes have devolved the need to produce chlorophyll. They tap into the mycelia of fungi, and uptake nutrients from the vast web of subterranean fungi that underlies everything that we haven't destroyed. The fungi in turn are interrelated with forest trees, once again underlining the expansive and peculiar ecological web that we scarcely understand.
If you find yourself out in the forest, keep an eye out for these oddities.