The Mystery of Star Jelly
If you have ever wandered across the moors, through fields or over woodland you have probably come across this mysterious substance. You may immediately have chosen not to think of where it came from, but ignore your imagination and read on…
You will be surprised to hear that it has baffled people for centuries. Records date back to the 14th century of a mysterious jelly-like substance found after meteor showers, leading to the name ‘Star Jelly’, or ‘Astromyxin’. Throughout the 20th century, more sightings of the jelly have been recorded and frequently after a meteor shower.
Even now, the origin of Star Jelly isn’t known for certain. The most common theory is that it is regurgitated frog spawn from frog-eating predators. This is supported by the findings of the BBC who in 2015 sent a specimen to the National History Museum for DNA testing. The results showed it as primarily frog, but with a small amount of magpie. Suggesting that a magpie attacked a frog, and then couldn’t digest all of it and and regurgitated what was left.
Whatever the origin, be it regurgitated frog, meteor deposits or even the debris left after a gang of pixies on a night out (my personal favourite), it’s probably unwise to go and touch it. At least until a modern scientist manages to figure out a definite answer. Further information on the mystery of Star Jelly can be found on Wikipedia and an interesting article by Legendary Dartmoor which I stumbled upon whilst trying to figure out whether the mystery was finally solved.
In order of realistic to ridiculous, the top theories are:
- Regurgitated frog innards or frogspawn
- Something else regurgitated by an animal
- Slime mold
- A type of fungi or algae that rapidly swells up in the wet and then is quickly dissolved by the weather
- Jelly blobs that break off from meteors
- Pixie vomit
- A government experiment gone badly wrong