In 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot, slime was unavoidable. In the film’s opening scene, a tour guide discovers that the floor of the eerie Aldridge Mansion has turned into a yawning chasm of neon green glop. Soon after, the doubtful Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) relinquishes her skepticism of paranormal activity when she nearly slips on a chartreuse wad of ectoplasm.
In nearly every important scene, there it is: slime dripping from ceilings or churning in fissures. At one point, Slimer steals the Ghostbusters’ ride, the Ecto-1, and joyrides around Manhattan, picking up slime-babes.
Slime is, suddenly, more pervasive than it’s been in decades. “Slime” has had an eightfold rise in Google queries since late 2015. The New York Times reports, “There’s a thriving nationwide market for slime…The hashtag #slime appears on 3.5 million Instagram posts, and slime searches on Etsy have increased 9,000 percent since October, according to the company.” Homemade slime projects have become the de rigueur DIY children’s diversion of the day. Requiring just Borax, dye, and school glue, it’s a simple science project for kids of any age. Homemade slime is colorful, feels weird, and can also make fart noises. No wonder it’s popular.