KUSA - There is a possible explanation for the discovery of a green jelly-like substance that many thought might have come from a falling Russian meteor.
The slimy jelly was found at the Ham Wall Nature reserve in Somerset. Folklore dating back to the 14th century believed slime of this type was 'star jelly' that showed up in the aftermath of meteor strikes.
'This past week we've been finding piles of this translucent jelly dotted around the reserve," according to Steve Hughes, site manager at Ham Wall. "Always on grass banks away from the water's edge. We've asked experts what it might be, but as yet no one is really sure. Whatever it is, it's very weird."
A veterinarian in the area, Peter Green thinks he has the answer. He said the slime is most likely unfertilized frog spawn. He notes this is the time of year when amphibians of all kinds are spawning. He says the spawn is held in a substance known as glycoprotein which is stored in the female's body.
He notes that if the animal is attacked by a predator (herons for example), it will naturally drop its spawn and the associated glycoprotein. He says if the spawn is unfertilized, it is just the empty glycoprotein that is dropped, which on contact with moist ground, will swell, turning into a clear slime-like substance.
Star jelly's sporadic appearance around the world has dumb-founded scientists for years. In 2011 it materialized in Patterdale, Cumbria. It was also spotted in 2009 when it was discovered in the hills of Scotland.
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