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Rebuttal: ‘On the Impossibility of a Jelly World’

by octochan


Recently a certain article was published, presenting proof against the existence of a place such as Jelly World. The author of the article said that the concept of Jelly World is a silly notion, but there is ample evidence that Jelly World is a possibility, even discounting the abundance of jellies which do not originate from the Food Shop, or the Neopians who tell us they collected them from that mystical land.

As the recently discovered Altador, Shenkuu, and yet unexplored territory of Lutari Island attest, there are locales on Neopia that have escaped detection for years. These places were found on the Other Side of Neopia, a hemisphere that has been traversed only by the most determined explorers in the last few months, and is still largely unknown. Altador, a large and beautiful city, had been missing for the last millennium. The city, and the way to it, was only just returned to Neopian knowledge around the same time trails were blazed into Neopia's Other Side. Shenkuu was found after some of its natives accidentally ended up on Krawk Island, and showed the way back to their isolated civilization. Is it so unlikely that a place such as Jelly World might lurk somewhere in these uncharted waters?

Consider also Neopia's moon, Kreludor. The currently colonized areas of Kreludor are a popular destination for book lovers and fans of orange Grundos, but they occupy only a small part of the moon's surface. Nothing is known about the dark side of Neopia's satellite. With the glacial growth rate of the colony, it could be years before any secret stations hidden on this moon might be discovered. Also, if Jelly World was in fact a gelatine-based society, the advantage of its being in space is that it would instantly solve all refrigeration problems.

The most conclusive fact I found proving the possibility of a Jelly World is that the composition of jelly is not restricted exclusively to gelatine as the essential ingredient. Agar, also known as agar-agar, is a healthful and animal-friendly gelling agent produced from algae and seaweeds.

Agar has two distinct and notable physical advantages over gelatine. Jelly made with this substance is firmer and can remain solid at room temperature. This would make it, if not an ideal, at least a plausible material with which to construct large objects from. Although it shares the same properties of being easily moulded as gelatine, it is far easier to remove an agar jelly from its mould in one piece than it is with a traditional gelatine jelly. With the assistance of a good engineer in jelly dynamics, perfectly liveable buildings could be built or carved from blocks of agar jelly. Furniture would also be more pleasant to rest your tired Neopet in; agar jelly is pleasantly squishy, yet supportive enough to maintain good posture and prevent your pet from being engulfed. Small wonder that the even the local furniture shop provides beds, sofas and chairs made with this stuff.

Given that a world comprised of jelly would require enormous amounts of agar, it is fortunate that agar comes from several of the most common items in Neopia. The algae and seaweeds from which agar is extracted are available in mass quantities for next to nothing, form the bulk of the donations at the Money Tree, and are simply discarded by disgruntled users tired of these plants multiplying in their inventory. Anyone who frequents the Underwater Fishing Cavern can appreciate the rate at which these aquatic vegetables grow despite being fished out of the bottom of Maraqua on a constant basis. Costwise, this gelatine alternative would take only a fraction of the NP needed to produce a Jelly World from processed Snorkles. An even more cost effective option would be to simply farm the algae in a large and quiet area of Maraqua to ensure a steady supply of agar.

If we are to assume that the Kiko who owns the Neopian Chocolate Factory may be the only one with the capital and the unusual mindset to be able to conceive and build a world made entirely of jelly, who is to say that he hasn't had his fill of chocolate at his workplace and wants to go home to a place where he can be surrounded by a different confection? Let's be honest; jelly is much more of a comfort food than chocolate. But with the inexpensive main ingredient factored in, any wealthy Neopian with a sweet tooth and a taste for the surreal may be able to afford such an extravagance.

Despite all the previously discussed advantages, agar jelly is still food, and will eventually spoil. Fortunately, agar jelly has the curious property of being highly resistant to almost all forms of bacteria. The scientific community is already familiar with this feature. Agar jelly's most common application after being a dessert is the base for Petri dish cultures. Attempts to grow controlled amounts of bacteria in other media generally result in soupy, germy messes in a very short while. Agar jelly retards the growth of bacteria enough so that they multiply slowly, in easily studied blobs on the agar's surface. In terms of Jelly World, this would mean that at the first sign of spoilage, the offending spots could be neatly scraped off the wall instead of having the whole structure replaced. Naturally, the building would at some point have to be replaced when the amount of scraping starts to threaten its architectural integrity. Still, the longer shelf life of agar jelly and the amount of NP saved from fewer replaced buildings demonstrates more reasons why the use of agar jelly would make Jelly World possible.

This leads me to theorize that Jelly World might have been constructed as a giant research project to study Neopian diseases and develop better and cheaper cures for them. Such a place could even generate part of its own funding, if it was marketed as a tourist attraction and if they made its location more accessible. Unfortunately, it is equally possible that Jelly World could also have been made by Dr. Sloth as a giant research project to study and develop more virulent strains of diseases, which would be consistent with the constant denials of its existence. Such a place would necessarily be extremely remote and secretive.

Putting all such pessimistic thoughts aside, these are merely theories on why a Jelly World would exist, if indeed it does exist. I have not yet even taken into account the presence of magic in Neopia, or how such powers might be involved with creating a world out of water, sugar, flavouring and seaweed extract. The discussion of magic and its capabilities are a little beyond the scope of this article, so I leave these speculations to be explored by someone with more expertise on this topic.

So, Neopian Times readers, I leave this to your questing spirit to find the truth about Jelly World. Perhaps, in turn, you might also find its secret location, or even be inspired to take on the more enterprising role of building Jelly World yourself! In my humble opinion, such a delightful and miraculous place should exist. In the event that it doesn't, at the very least we ought to believe in it, else there will be one less thing of wonder in this world. Jelly World may not exist in the most literal sense of the word, but it can live on in the alternate reality of our imaginations.

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