Somerset, England – A weird, unidentifiable gelatinous slime was discovered at the RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve. For nearly a week, workers at the reserve stumbled upon random piles of the translucent viscous jelly along the grassy banks near bodies of water, unaware of the cause or creator.
Initially it was assumed the substance was Nostoc, reports the Telegraph, a cyanobacteria that colonizes into a gelatinous sheath composed of filaments of moniliform cells. Nostoc is often found in soil, at the bottom of lakes and streams, and along moist rock faces. Others assessed it could be a jelly fungus called Crystal Brain Fungus (Exidia nucleata and Myxarium nucleatum).
Crystal Brain Fungus is a translucent-white jelly fungus distinguishable by pustular brain-like shaped opaque nodules. They develop on decaying wet wood (fallen trees and branches) in parts of Europe and North America during the autumn and winter months. The fungus, along with several look-a-likes, was ruled out.
According to the RSPB, they’ve likely solved the mystery of the slime. Although many speculated perhaps it had something to do with the recent meteor event, a local wildlife veterinarian was able to provide a more logical explanation.
Peter Green clarified, evidently the substance is considered a glycoprotein found in the female body of some amphibians found in the reserve.
During periods of procreation or predatory attacks, the goo is naturally expelled. When the unfertilized mass comes into contact with moisture, the slime draws it like a sponge and swells.
Tony Whitehead, a spokesman for the RSPB, said:
“While this is our favored explanation for this appearance of slime, it’s also worth remembering that other things can give a similar appearance.”
Where do you think the slime came from? What caused it?