An Englishman stumbled across a mysterious find this week in a field near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. Andrew Holden was walking his two dogs, Marley and Willow, when he spotted a strange gelatinous substance on the ground.
Upon closer inspection, Holden realized the clear, jelly-like slime was unlike anything he’d seen before:
It looks like frogspawn but it definitely isn’t. It doesn’t look normal and I didn’t notice a smell. There are no plants that could secrete something like that. As I moved further on I found some more but this wasn’t as jelly like – this was more crystallised, like salt.
Naturally, Holden had his phone handy and snapped some pictures of the mystery goo (it is 2016, after all). After posting the pictures to Twitter and Instagram, a plausible explanation has yet to have been put forward for the mystery goo. Many netizens have speculated that the slime might have an extraterrestrial origin, but Holden himself is not convinced:
People were saying it comes from space but I don’t know – I can’t make my mind up. I believe in aliens but whether this comes from outer space… I don’t know.
As it turns out, Holden is not the first to come across this mysterious substance. In fact, sightings of the unexplained goo have been reported for centuries. The substance has many names – star jelly, moon poo, astromyxin, astral jelly, among others – and is typically reported to be found after sightings of meteorites or other ‘falling stars.’
Some of the more scientific explanations for the bizarre jelly include hypotheses that it might be a rare form of cyanobacteria, or the byproduct of certain glands found in birds and reptiles which can swell when they come into contact with moisture. However, past DNA tests of star jelly were either inconclusive or found no DNA at all. This has led some to speculate that astral jelly could be some sort of intergalactic biological ‘seed’ material which spreads life throughout the cosmos, or even some sort of alien-engineered bioweapon. Whatever it is, I don’t want you tracking it in here all over my new rug. Shoes off at the door, folks.