NS3878 : Mystery blob of jelly in the woods

taken 12 years ago, near to Renton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Mystery blob of jelly in the woods
Mystery blob of jelly in the woods
This jelly-like blob was about four centimetres wide, and was found sitting on a moss-covered branch in the woods, about four feet above the ground.

Its glistening upper surface reflects its surroundings. It is a transparent jelly, clear, though with a brownish hue. Having touched this specimen, I found that it was very soft, almost watery in consistency (the photograph was taken during a period of very wet weather).

Although I have retained the original title for this picture, its subject is no longer such a mystery: I was later able to determine that it is almost certainly the jelly fungus Exidia recisa. That identification is consistent with its overall shape, and indistinct traces of its original crimped, round margin can still be discerned, running along the blob's upper edge in this picture; compare the normal specimens shown at NS4276 : A fungus - Exidia recisa and NS3976 : A fungus - Exidia recisa. In the present picture, the fungus is waterlogged, a kind of natural water-balloon, and it therefore has a very atypical appearance, making it hard to recognize. The jelly retains the brownish hue of the fungus, although the absorbed water has made the colour seem weaker by distributing it over a greater volume.

I have also been able to observe the development of normal specimens of this species for myself: as the fruiting bodies age, they become soft and watery, and their remnants can sometimes be seen hanging from twigs. However, since the one in my picture was resting on a surface, and was therefore supported underneath, it was able to become more bloated without becoming detached from the tree (either by disintegrating or by dropping off).

For interest, the following links show a selection of natural jelly-like substances: Link (White Brain Fungus Exidia thuretiana), Link (Crystal Brain Fungus Exidia nucleata), Link (probably from frogs), Link (a slime mould plasmodium), Link (Amber Jelly Roll Exidia recisa again), Link (Nostoc pruniforme), Link (Nostoc commune), and Link (Yellow Brain Fungus Tremella mesenterica, of which colourless forms are sometimes found).
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NS3878, 291 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 10 October, 2008   (more nearby)
Friday, 10 October, 2008
Geographical Context
Woodland, Forest 
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Near (from Tags)
Place (from Tags)
Renton Wood 
Fungi   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 384 782 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.1781N 4:35.3855W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 384 782
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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