Space Jelly: Alien Message or Ghostly Ectoplasm?

Space jelly, star jelly, star rot, star snot or (my personal favourite) moon poo is a squidgy white goo that can be found on grassland and on the lower branches of trees, usually appearing after a meteor shower. People who’ve seen it report that it often evaporates into the air shortly after discovery.

According to folklore, this space jelly is deposited on the planet during meteor showers, lunar eclipses and other galactic phenomena. And nobody seems to know how or why it appears.

Some people believe that it’s ghostly ectoplasm from our dead ancestors walking the planet. Others are convinced that it comes from alien visitors or from a cosmic interaction between the Earth and meteorites.

Reports of sightings of the substance date back as far as the 14th century and have continued to the present day, with reports from across the globe, from Scotland to San Francisco.

photo courtesy of Rob Burke

But it turns out it’s not all that spooky after all. Just like the ghosts and goblins that scare your socks right off when mommy turns out the light, there is a far more boring explanation for its metaphorical chain rattling and howling.

This space jelly is nothing more than the remains of spawn, spilt from the glands in the oviducts of frogs and toads once they’ve been munched on. Birds and mammals will chow down on those tasty green amphibians, but not the oviducts, which contain the frog spawn. They just leave this stuff lying around and once it comes into contact with moisture, boom, it swells and distorts leaving a vast pile of jelly.

And that’s all this crazy jelly stuff is.

Alas, it’s nothing at all to do with aliens trying to contact us, ghostly ectoplasm or bits of our solar system binding onto our planet. It’s just nature doing its thing.

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