A gelatinous, semi-opaque slime that appeared mysteriously in an English nature park has proved a brain teaser for area scientists. Others have posited that the material may have extraterrestrial origins.
The substance, which some are calling a "jelly," was found at the RSPB Ham Wall Nature reserve in Somerset, according to Yahoo! News.
Steve Hughes, site manager at Ham Wall, said the jelly was unlike anything he'd ever seen before.
"This past week we've been finding piles of this translucent jelly dotted around the reserve. Always on grass banks away from the water's edge," Hughes said, per Yahoo. "They are usually about 10cm (4in) in diameter. We've asked experts what it might be, but as yet no one is really sure. Whatever it is, it's very weird."
According to the BBC, several theories have been offered, including one that claims the amorphous matter is a form of cyanobacteria called Nostoc, remains of the regurgitated innards of amphibians. Another theory suggests the goop is an ancient substance of legend.
"In records dating back to the 14th Century it's known variously as star jelly, astral jelly or astromyxin," park spokesperson Tony Whitehead told the BBC. "In folklore it is said to be deposited in the wake of meteor showers. It's great that in this day and age that there are still mysteries out there."
Traces of a similar jelly have been found before, and National Geographic has reported on the phenomenon as part of a series on paranatural theories.
Some even wondered if the jelly's appearance in the RSPB reserve might be connected to the sighting of a UFO-type object observed flying in a flaming arc over the region last week.
Just like most intriguing, paranatural incidents, the truth is probably more natural than paranormal. In a statement on Monday, the RSPB said it seems most likely that the goo is unfertilized, abandoned frog spawn.
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