Yahoo released a report by Rob Waugh on the recent ‘jelly invasion’ at the RSPB Ham Wall Nature reserve in Somerset that has left scientists baffled thus far.
A weird “slime” has invaded a British nature park – and RSPB experts have appealed for help in identifying the mysterious substance.
The clear jelly has baffled experts so far, with explanations including the idea it is the regurgitated innards of frogs, or ‘crystal brain fungus’.
RSPB officials said the slime bore the appearance of “something living” – and the public have been warned not to touch any of the pools of slime.
Local folklore suggests that the jelly appears in the wake of meteor showers.
Is there a link between the mysterious jelly-like slime and meteor showers? Waugh speculates as to the nature and or cause of the slime that has dotted the Somerset landscape. I am most fascinated to learn of the records dating to the 14th Century about this ‘star jelly’.
Scientific speculation as to the nature of the jelly is varied – one of the more favoured explanations is that it is a form of cyanobacteria called Nostoc.
Some, however, suggest that it is the remains of the regurgitated innards of amphibians such as frogs and toads and of their spawn.
Tony Whitehead, an RSPB spokesman for the South West, said: “Although we don’t know what it actually is, similar substances have been described previously.
“In records dating back to the 14th Century it’s known variously as star jelly, astral jelly or astromyxin. In folklore it is said to be deposited in the wake of meteor showers.“
Mr Whitehead added: “It’s great that in this day and age that there are still mysteries out there.
“We’ve read a few articles now and much speculation. One suggested it was neither animal nor plant, and another that it didn’t contain DNA, although it does give the appearance of something ‘living’.
“Our reserve team will be looking out for the slime over the next few days, but if anyone can offer any explanations we’d be glad to hear.”