Goochland couple finds mysterious goo in yard

Published: Jun. 12, 2019 at 6:44 PM EDT
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GOOCHLAND, Va. (WWBT) - Five small piles of a strange substance sit in the yard of Peter and Maria Rippe’s backyard. It appears to be ice, but has a gelatinous feel.

"Doesn’t that look like the remains of a cooler?” Peter Rippe said, originally thinking someone had just dumped ice in his yard overnight.

The Rippes first made the discovery Tuesday morning. They believe the goo to be a phenomenon known as “star jelly," which experts say can be caused by remnants of meteors landing on Earth.

Rippe still has other running theories: “Frog regurgitation? Herring regurgitation, who ate the wrong frog? But if it was related to a frog, it must’ve been a mighty big one!”

NBC12 took a small sample of the substance to an agricultural expert in Chesterfield County to take a look under a microscope.

“There’s no cellular structure, no evidence of a living organism,” Mike Likins of the county’s cooperative extension, said.

Likins displayed real world examples of actual star jelly, but believes the Goochland goo isn’t the same, but rather a man-made, water-based polymer.

“This is used in a lot of your potting mixes, your bags of soil that they used for raised gardens," Likins said.

NBC12 did notify the Rippe’s of the discovery, much to their relief.

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