Star Jelly, have you seen any?

telecaster

Active Member
star jelly.jpgHave anyone come across this? when and where

It must be fairly common as I have come across "blobs" of the mysterious "Star Jelly" maybe once or twice a year, September to November. In the Yorkshire Dales and on the High Pennines Cumbria, always on high moorland ground, usually on paths, sometimes in quite large amounts. (pint or more)
No one seems to have come to a satisfactory explanation for this curious jelly like substance,
Theories range from it being deposits from meteor showers or have been expelled by frogs when in danger, to stag semen and other unlikely causes.
Scientific test carried out on it have found no dna in its make up.
So it remains a mystery.

Lots of sightings here: https://helvellyn.wordpress.com/2011...-by-ullswater/
 
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Farmerjoe

Well-Known Member
Im sure ive seen similar stuff down here in the south, always though it to be a fungus/fungus related! might not be the same stuff though.

Good luck in your search, its piqued my interest now!

Joe
 

csl

Administrator
Site Staff
I'm in favour of the frog theory (either expelled or via a predator which has eaten or attempted to eat). Frog spawn is a similar protein to the substance produced by hagfish and only needs a tiny amount which will absorb large amounts of moisture and swell which would explain why it appears to grow in situ around blades of grass etc.

Hagfish Sliming Video - YouTube
 
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merlin

Well-Known Member
I saw loads of this whilst stalking reds in the north lakes last winter, and wondered what the heck it was! It was splattered all over the place :confused:.

I settled on it being the aftermath of aliens leaving their eggcases having been deposited by the mothership in readiness for the takeover of earth.....:eek: (ie I had no idea). It was either that or jellyfish that had been washed up by one HELL of a high tide.:doh:
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
I was always told it was frogspawn left behind by Otters or other predators when the frogs move up to the hills and marshes to spawn.
 

telecaster

Active Member
I'm in favour of the frog theory (either expelled or via a predator which has eaten or attempted to eat). Frog spawn is a similar protein to the substance produced by hagfish and only needs a tiny amount which will absorb large amounts of moisture and swell which would explain why it appears to grow in situ around blades of grass etc.

Hagfish Sliming Video - YouTube

I have always found this on ground where the undergrowth has been flattened and not in vegetation, it is made up of ice cube size lumps, sometimes together, sometimes apart.

Always on high ground near heather. I have never seen this in places that I know hold a lot of frogs.

Also the samples that have been tested show no animal DNA.
 

RED-DOT

Account Suspended
Telecaster... I'ts what you will need when Admin collars you for the knuckle-dragging reply you posted in "introductions"!!
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
Aha. I posted recently after seeing it a lot, asking what it is. Seen by me mostly around ponds in the Western Lakes, Cumbria. Herons do frequent them. Haven't seen much in the way of otters or similar recently and the duck do come in, which they may well not if there were any around much. Haven't seen anything in the way of frogs or toads either. The pond where I see it mostly is pretty exposed.

Maybe it's good for cleaning your wooden rifle or shotgun stock, bringing it's lustre back. (but if you try it, it's at your own peril).
 

jubnut

Well-Known Member
There have been a few threads on this.

Female Frogs store the Glycoprotein required to make spawn for Months before they mate in February March time. I assume it takes a lot of energy to create it in the amounts they need. When they are consumed by a predator, often a heron or a crow it is indigestible and is regurgitated much like an owl pellet.

As birds have wings and are apt to travel some distance this is why it is often found in places where frogs are scarce, or on tree branches, up high seats, on fence posts etc etc.

P.s. It doesn't have any DNA because it is a protein, a chemical, it is not a living being.

There really is no mystery here.
 
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Pedro

Well-Known Member
There have been a few threads on this.

Female Frogs store the Glycoprotein required to make spawn for Months before they mate in February March time. I assume it takes a lot of energy to create it in the amounts they need. When they are consumed by a predator, often a heron or a crow it is indigestible and is regurgitated much like an owl pellet.

As birds have wings and are apt to travel some distance this is why it is often found in places where frogs are scarce, or on tree branches, up high seats, on fence posts etc etc.

P.s. It doesn't have any DNA because it is a protein, a chemical, it is not a living being.

There really is no mystery here.
Seems to fit the facts, jubnut. Is this then a known proven phenomenon or a theory awaiting proving or disproving? According to Wikipedia (yes, yes, I know...) the definitive explanation is still to be had.
 

Mr. Gain

Well-Known Member
According to Wikipedia (yes, yes, I know...) the definitive explanation is still to be had.
As you are evidently aware, Wikipedia is always a handy place to start, but never a suitable place to finish any research.

The SD, on the other hand... :D
 

jubnut

Well-Known Member
I don't think I could say its proven or disproven, that's just what it is.

I guess for wikepedia to say it was proven someone would have had to have done some scientific research on it and published it on the internet... Who would bother?
 

Buchan

Well-Known Member
There was some research on this at the Macaulay institute and it is 99% water. The rest is sugars and proteins that swell on contact with water (CSL hagfish demo). If you think of the volume of frog spawn an the volume of a frog, you get the idea of how much it can swell. It is most likely that this stuff is relatively small quantities of mucus/slime that absorbs a lot of water. As amphibians produce it in relatively large quantities, it is the most probably explanation, but there are other sources. I don't quite get the regurgitation theory as it should be digestible (eaten by tadpoles after all).
 

rick6point5

Well-Known Member
Latest tests done at the Natural history Museum show that after extracting DNA they found it to be from the common frog, it is a Glycoprotein stored by the female used to coat eggs, it is extremely good at absorbing water even from surrounding air, they strange bit is that they found other DNA within it and after running this through there sequencer they found it was from Magpies, although other avian frog predators could also be responsible, apparently it is released during the killing of the frog and not regurgitated or passed from eating them..
 

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