What is this strange seed/fruit that fell from the sky?
August 24, 2009 3:13 PM   Subscribe

This "fell out of the sky" near my house. I have never seen this kind of seed or fruit before. Does anyone know what this is?
posted by senador to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
It looks like an oak gall.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:22 PM on August 24, 2009

I don't think it's a fruit. Is it fairly firm, almost woody? Looks more like a gall to me. It would be hard to identify what kind of gall without knowing what kind of trees were nearby.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:22 PM on August 24, 2009

Nthing a gall.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:24 PM on August 24, 2009

Well we have plenty of oaks in the yard and it fell under an oak tree. Should I cut it open to verify?
posted by senador at 3:24 PM on August 24, 2009

Cut it open. No reason not to. Galls are sort of spongy inside when immature like that. I'm not sure whether they'll dry/mature off the tree (I think they will), but what would eventually happen if you were to leave it whole (and still might) is that you'd get up one morning, and all those little white spots would be little white holes. The larvae inside will have hatched out and gone on their merry way. You'll likely never see them.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:28 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

If it is a gall, I understand you can make ink from the juice and draw with it.
posted by effluvia at 3:30 PM on August 24, 2009

The oak gall ink recipe also requires iron sulfate and is based on the black color produced by the interaction of tannic acid with iron.
posted by Ery at 5:52 PM on August 24, 2009

I'll bet it's some kind of crab apple. Probably chucked into your yard by a neighborhood kid.
posted by orme at 6:00 PM on August 24, 2009

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