Star Jelly Help Solve The Mystery

Close up of Place Fell Star Jelly Photo © Rob Shephard

Help to Solve the Patterdale Blob Star Jelly Mystery

Two weeks on from the original Star Jelly by Ullswater blog and we’re seemingly no closer to finding out exactly what the mysterious Patterdale Blob actually is. The good news is that there have been new sightings as far afield as Huddersfield and Dartmoor, and more importantly we now have 2 samples sat in Tom’s freezer in the Patterdale Village Store. All we need now is someone to analyse them properly. So if you know any scientific gurus keen to help solve the mystery then please get in touch.

More Sightings and Samples

So what’s been happening since the original blog? Since the orignal sightings at the end of October we’ve had more appearing aroundSt Sunday Crag,  Angle Tarn and Beda Fell, sightings on High Raise near Helvellyn, the sightings near Huddersfield on Marsden Moor, and a recent sighting on Dartmoor. I am very grateful to Marian Parsons, from Patterdale, who has provided some more photos and theories on the origins of the Blob, to Geoff Davidson from Keswick who saw it on High Raise, and then again on Dartmoor, and brought a sample all the way back to Patterdale. Most of all a huge thank you to Tom from the Patterdale Village Store who has collected another sample and whose perserverance in searching for an answer has kept the whole thing alive (as it were…)

Mystery Jelly on St Sunday Photo © Marian ParsonsThe Jelly Mystery Photo © Marian Parsons

Analysis So Far

The original sample collected by Tom was sent to Dr Hans Sluiman from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh. Dr Sluiman is a botanist and has confirmed that it is not a plant or fungus. He is hoping that a zoologist might be able to do some DNA analysis on the sample. Well if there is one out there reading this then get in touch and we’ll send you a sample.

Theories So Far

There have been a range of theories put forward so far, none of which have been conclusively proven. As David quite rightly pointed out this phenomena has been puzzling people for hundreds of years, including the great Charles Hoy Fort (see David’s comment on the original post for a link to The Book of the Damned). Anyway here’s my take on the current top 3.

Deer Sperm

Pros Cons Further Thoughts
  • Found during the rutting season at least in the Lakes
  • Looks a bit like sperm
  • No deer known to be on St Sunday, Helvellyn and High Raise
  • Sheer size of some of the deposits (1 foot square)
  • Why is it not seen every year and a common sight?
  • Possibly deer sperm landing in puddles causing chemical reaction due to the ambient temperatures
  • Surely DNA analysis would prove/disprove

Bits of Frog “gelatinised oviduct tissue of frogs”  regurgitated by predators

Pros Cons Further Thoughts
  • Has a frog spawn like consistency
  • Found elsewhere on fences and fence posts and the like (tying in with birds regurgitating it.
  • Size of the deposits (unless chemical reaction)
  • Again why is it not seen every year and why only on fells
  • Again possibly some chemical reaction caused by damp warm conditions
  • Again DNA analysis would prove one way or another

Meteor Shower Debris (or some alien life form)

Pros Cons Further Thoughts
  • The most romantic explanation
  • Meteor Showers had occurred around the time of the sightings
  • Historically this was the connection made
  • Current scientific analysis suggests some animal molecular structure to the jelly
  • No one likes to believe in stuff falling out of space!
  • Still the most interesting until someone else comes up with a definitive answer!

So my current feeling is that it’s likely to be an animal in origin, and the swelling in size is caused by contact with water and the mild temperatures not normally experienced at this time of the year. All we need now is an expert to help solve the mystery once and for all! Please get in touch if you can help! Hurry up cos Tom needs the space back in his freezer!!

Tom with Blob Photo © Rob Shephard

Tom with the latest Blob Sample

Patterdale Village StoreMeet Tom and See the Jelly For Yourself
Helvellyn CottagesStay at Helvellyn Cottages and Find the Jelly Yourself

Love to Escape


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8 Responses to Star Jelly Help Solve The Mystery

  1. Pingback: Star Jelly by Ullswater | Helvellyn's Blog

  2. Dear Sir/Madam,

    Ice is known to exist in space as part of meteor clouds, comets, etc. It is very ancient ice, and has spent a virtual eternity in near-absolute zero-G.

    We have very little knowlege of the nature of water outside a gravitational field. Even water in space experiments is in extremely low gravity, but there is still gravity present. The closest thing to true/absolute zero-G only exists in deepest interstellar space, where comets are formed and where meteor clouds originate.

    There is the possibility that water’s natural state, when not acted upon by outside forces as in true zero-G, may actually be polymeric. If this is the case, ice raining down during a meteor shower may be water frozen in polymeric form, so that when it thaws it is a jelly. However, a jelly of polymeric water, if it could be formed, would be a very fragile lattice and would soon begin to break down as a result of gravity, vibration, heat, contaminants, or other factors.

    Polymeric water would account for the consistancy, fragility, and lack of any identifiable constituants beyond water itself.

    There have been reports of experiments in producing polymeric water (aka “poly-water”) over the years. Evidently there has beensome success, though these tests were never conducted in zero-G and only very small amounts have ostensibly been able to be produced. By all reports the resulting material is very similar in behavior and consistancy to the reports of “star jelly”.

    Net: I believe it is ancient ice formed in deep space, in close to absolute zero-G, that has formed a fragile polymeric molecular latice. It then falls with meteoric material during meteor showers, becoming a jelly when it thaws as a result of its polymeric structure, and begins to reconfigure into conventional/terrestrial water as the polymeric lattice rearranges.


  3. Heather says:

    Came across this whilst googling why yesterday during a rainstorm my steps terrace and garden was left coverd in weird lumps of jelly. In places there were piles of it! I live in Ibiza in the balearic islands so I really don’t know what the hell this stuff is. I’ve never niticed it before but my kids said it happens quite often after the big rain we het here at the end of summer. I have pictures if anyone would like them,.,

  4. Thomas says:

    I found the same exact jelly like substance in my back yard in california. I am in the city and i have never seen a frog or deer ever since ive lived here its mostly in 1 spot of my back yard and bigger clumps spred around. I have pictures. And have a half gallon bag half filled with this stuff and more on the ground please contact me back i dont know what to do with it

  5. Andrei says:

    “Bychkov’s research indicates that the jellies are formed when airflow, carrying molecules of algae and other germs, moves from Earth to the clouds. From there, the cloud’s organic matter feeds the germs, creating a DNA-less gelatin substance. When it gets big enough — and, most important, heavy enough — it drops out of the cloud, creating the falling-to-Earth impression that’s associated with the phenomenon of shooting stars.”

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