When he returned one week later, the goo was gone but a mysterious circle had appeared in the grass.
While walking his two dogs in a field near Manchester, British man Andrew Holden noticed a strange gelatinous substance had appeared on the ground. Intrigued by the unusual find, the man snapped a few photos and posted them on Instagram. Commenters instantly forwarded a hypothesis involving extraterrestrials and star jelly.
It was foggy so I couldn’t see much, but the goo was clear so it stood out,” he told local press. “It was gleaming a bit. It looked like blobby jelly, like frogspawn, but it definitely isn’t that. I didn’t notice a smell and there are no plants that could secrete something like that. I carried on going further up and I found some more, but this wasn’t as jelly like – this was more crystallized.”
This wasn’t the first time he spotted the mysterious substance but the event remained in his mind so the following week, he returned to the same spot. To his surprise, he discovered the gelatinous mass had disappeared and the area that had been covered in goo looked different from the surrounding marshland.
You can see the grass is raised up in parts, but the circle where the goo was is flat now – about 12 square yards. It’s like something has landed on it.”
This recent incident brings to mind a phenomenon that has been reported since ancient times. The gelatinous substance was also known in medieval times, with one of the earliest mentions belonging to 14th century physician John of Gaddesden. In his writings, the scholar referred to the stuff as ‘stella terrae’ and claimed it had medical properties.
The Welsh term of pwdre ser is connected to legends of falling stars exuding a gelatinous, organic-looking mass that caused anyone it came into contact with to fall ill.
Throughout history, various explanations have attempted to explain star jelly, but up to this day, a definitive clarification has yet to appear.
Furthermore, the enigmatic goo has been associated with a multitude of unexplained phenomena.
Scientific American reports that on November 11, 1846, a luminous object about 4 feet in diameter fell from the sky at Lowville, NY. The bolide left behind a mass of rancid, glowing jelly that dissolved before anyone had the chance to investigate.
The 1958 movie The Blob was also inspired by a similar occurrence. In 1950, four Philadelphia police officers stumbled upon a “domed disk of quivering jelly, 6 feet in diameter, one foot thick at the center and an inch or two near the edge.” When they attempted to lift the mass, it melted away, leaving behind “an odorless, sticky scum.”
There is also the case of a woman from Frisco, TX who discovered a number of purple blobs of goo in her yard after a Perseid meteor shower. And the list could go on for longer than you’d be willing to read.
Could this mysterious substance have unearthly origins? If it is indeed brought by meteorites, it could be evidence of an outside force actively trying to seed the universe with life. In that case, the panspermia theory might turn out to be true and our quest for discovering alien life would receive validation right here on Earth.
It would also suggest that life arose very early in our galaxy, since space rocks have a finite speed and range. Seeds of life could be hurtling through the universe in large numbers as we speak.
As for Andrew Holden, he hopes to encounter the goo once again so he could take a sample and send it to be analyzed.
“I don’t know where it came from, but I believe in aliens so I’m not saying it didn’t come from them.”