Star jelly

Star jelly, or pwdre sêr, is an alleged compound purportedly deposited on the earth during meteor showers. It is described as a foul-smelling, gelatinous substance, which tends to evaporate shortly after having fallen.

There have been reports of "pwdre sêr" (Welsh for "rot of the stars") for centuries.Fact|date=February 2007 A long article in the paranormal magazine "Fate" declared Star Jelly to be of extraterrestrial origin, calling it "cellular organic matter" which exists as "prestellar molecular clouds" which float through space.Fact|date=July 2008

There have been connections made between Star Jelly and unidentified flying objectsFact|date=July 2008 — some UFO watchers believe that UFOs are not alien constructs, but living beings called atmospheric beastsFact|date=July 2008, and that the Star Jelly is their remains once they fall to earth.Fact|date=July 2008Who|date=July 2008

Many skepticsWho|date=July 2008 feel that Star Jelly is probably a diversity of naturally occurring material such as slime molds, nostoc, or lichen, and that the extraterrestrial connection occurs when people see meteor showers, rush to where they think the meteors fell, and find the already-existing mold on the ground.

Recent documented cases

Infobox Pseudoscience
topics=* Astronomy Astrobiology
claims=* A mysterious jellylike or slimy substance allegedly associated with meteor strikes arises from extraterresstial organic matter comprising interstellar molecular clouds
origyear=* c. 1979
origprop=* unknown
currentprop=* unknown

In 1950, four Philadelphia, Pennsylvania policemen reported the discovery of "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 tried to pick it up, it dissolved into an "odorless, sticky scum." [http://www.net-weather.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=15926] , [http://www.subversiveelement.com/SkyFallsJelly.html] . The site was located (near 26th Street and Vare Avenue) within a half mile (800 m) of the Philadelphia Gas Works, leading to the possibility that it was some type of industrial discharge.

On August 11, 1979, Mrs. Sybil Christian of Frisco, Texas reported the discovery of several purple blobs of "goo" on her front yard following a Perseid meteor shower. A follow up investigation by reporters and an assistant director of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History discovered a battery reprocessing plant outside of town where caustic soda was used to clean impurities from the lead in the batteries, resulting in a purplish compound as a byproduct. The report was greeted with some skepticism, however, as the compounds at the reprocessing plant were solid, whereas the blobs on Mrs. Christian's lawn were gelatinous. Others, however, have pointed out that Mrs. Christian had tried to clear them off her lawn with a garden hoseFact|date=February 2007.

In December, 1983, grayish-white, oily gelatin fell on North Reading, Massachusetts. Mr. Thomas Grinley reported finding it on his lawn, on the streets and sidewalks, and dripping from gas station pumpsFact|date=February 2007.

On several dates in 1994, "gelatinous rain" fell on Oakville, Washington. The story was featured in a 1995 episode of Unsolved Mysteries [http://www.zetatalk.com/theword/tword05m.htm] . In 1997, a similar substance fell in the Everett, Washington area.

On the evening of November 3, 1996, a meteor was reported flashing across the sky of Kempton, Australia, just outside of Hobart. The next morning, white translucent slime was discovered on the lawns and sidewalks of the townFact|date=February 2007.

cientific analysis

Godfrey Louis is a solid-state physicist currently studying "blood-colored showers" that fell in 2001 near his home in Kerala in India. He thinks they may come from space. He has isolated red 10-micrometre structures that may reproduce without DNA, but have not been extensively tested. [http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/2c21c0f98d07b010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html]

Little scientific analysis has been done on Star Jelly. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/farout/story/0,,1388506,00.html "The Guardian Unlimited"] reported in January 2005 that Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant, writing in the 18th century, believed the material to be "something" vomited up by birds or animals.

More recent scientific speculationWho|date=July 2008 has pointed towards frog spawn which has been vomited up by amphibian-eating creatures (notably European Polecats), though no frog spawn has ever approached the size of some reported cases of Star Jelly. The German terms "Sternenrotz" (star snot) and "Meteorgallerte" (meteorite jelly) are known to refer to more or less digested frog spawn vomited by predators (Schlüpmann 2007).Fact|date=July 2008 This is quite easy to identify by its smell and found in winter and early spring near frog spawning sites (see below for images).Fact|date=July 2008

The Massachusetts Department of Environment Quality Engineering examined the "star fall" which dropped on North Reading, but the only results were that the material was "non-toxic".Fact|date=July 2008

tar jelly in literature and fiction

Sir John Suckling, in 1641, wrote a poem which contained the following linesFact|date=July 2008::"As he whose quicker eye doth trace":"A false star shot to a mark'd place":"Do's run apace,":"And, thinking it to catch,":"A jelly up do snatch"

Henry More, in 1656 ,wroteFact|date=July 2008::"That the Starres eat...that those falling Starres, as some call them, which are found on the earth in the form of a trembling gelly, are their excrement."

John Dryden, in 1679, wroteFact|date=July 2008::"When I had taken up what I supposed a fallen star I found I had been cozened with a jelly."

William Somervile, in 1740, wroteFact|date=July 2008::"Swift as the shooting star, that gilds the night":"With rapid transient Blaze, she runs, she flies;":"Sudden she stops nor longer can endure":"The painful course, but drooping sinks away,":"And like that falling Meteor, there she lyes":"A jelly cold on earth."

Sir Walter Scott, in his novel "The Talisman", wroteFact|date=July 2008::"Seek a fallen star," said the hermit, "and thou shalt only light on some foul jelly, which, in shooting through the horizon, has assumed for a moment an appearance of splendour."

Some observers have made a connection between Star Jelly and the movie "The Blob", in which a gelatinous monster falls from space. "The Blob" was supposedly based on the Philadelphia reportsFact|date=February 2007.

In the Film "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" (1978 film), the alien spores that fell to Earth in a rain shower formed blobs of jelly that grew into flowers that produced the seed pods.

ee also

*Angel hair
*Panspermia

References

*Adams, E.M. and Schlesinger, F., "Pwdre Ser", "Nature", 84, 105-106 (1910).
*Nieves-Rivera, Angel M. 2003. "The Fellowship of the Rings - UFO rings versus fairy rings." "Skeptical Inquirer". Vol. 27, No. 6, 50-54.
*Schlüpmann, Martin (2007): " [http://www.herpetofauna-nrw.de/Beobachtungen_FAQ.htm Laichballen auf Baumstümpfen, Baumstubben etc.] " Arbeitskreis Amphibien und Reptilien Nordrhein-Westfalen. Version of 2007-MAR-07. Retrieved 2007-JUL-13. Article in German; contains photo of slightly digested specimen.

External links

* [http://www.subversiveelement.com/SkyFallsJelly.html Selected cases of supposed "star jelly fall"]
* [http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_285.html The Straight Dope report on the Sybil Christian story]
* [http://www.sfgate.com/offbeat/bzt4.html Report on the Kempton case]
* [http://outtheregrfx.com/meteors.html The Star Jelly/UFO connection]
* [http://www.vcrlter.virginia.edu/publications/ced/ced/22 A scientific publication equating Star Jelly with Nostoc]
* [http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/2c21c0f98d07b010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html Is It Raining Aliens?] Pop.Sci. 6/2006
* [http://www.lads-hoch.de/shareportal/app/template/Inline.vm/o/45EF6A932C216EE32852ECE488D2814F Photo of a c.10 x 5 cm chunk of strongly digested "Sternenrotz", probably produced by an European Polecat] . Via: http://www.fnz.at/fnz/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?=&p=1635. Retrieved 2007-JUL-13.
* [http://www.fotonatur.de/amphibienreptilien/wasserfrosch-xxranaesculenta.php?page=1&a=1184296827&suwo=Wasserfrosch fotonatur.de: Wasserfrosch.] Photo code HDMAUBU shows "Sternenrotz" produced by a Common Buzzard. Retrieved 2007-JUL-13.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Star jelly — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • star jelly — Nostoc Nos toc, prop. n. [F.] (Bot.) A genus of alg[ae]. The plants are composed of moniliform cells imbedded in a gelatinous substance. [1913 Webster] Note: {Nostoc commune} is found on the ground, and is ordinarily not seen; but after a rain it …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • star jelly — noun Etymology: so called from a popular belief that the gelatinous colonies fall from the stars : any of several algae that form gelatinous colonies; especially : any of various algae of the genus Nostoc (especially N. commune) that tend to form …   Useful english dictionary

  • Star — (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron, Skr. star;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Star anise — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Star apple — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Star conner — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Star coral — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Star cucumber — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Star flower — Star Star (st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G. stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth. sta[ i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. asth r, a stron,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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