A MUCILAGINOUS substance is found on the damp ground near the granite quarries of Penryn, this is often very phosphorescent at night. The country people regard this as the substance of shooting stars. A tradesman of Penryn once brought me a bottle full of this substance for analysis, informing me that the men employed at the quarries, whenever they observed a shooting star, went to the spot near which they supposed it to fall, and they generally found a hatful of this mucus. It is curious that the Belgian peasants also call it "the substance of shooting stars" (" Phosphorescence," p. 109. By T. L. Phipson). This author says, "I have sketched the history of this curious substance in the Journal dè Médecine et de Pharmacologie of Bruxelles, for 1855. It was analysed chemically by Mulder, and anatomically by Carus, and from their observations appears to be the peculiar mucus which envelops the eggs of the frog. It swells to an enormous volume when it has free access to water. As seen upon the damp ground in spring, it was often mistaken for some species of fungus; it is, however, simply the spawn of frogs, which has been swallowed by some large crows or other birds, and afterwards vomited, from its peculiar property of swelling to an immense size in their bodies."
In Mulder's account of its chemical composition given by Berselius in his Rapport Annual, he distinguishes it by designation of mucilage atmosphérique.