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The Lake District fells have been invaded by 'The Blob', a translucent jelly which is said in folklore to be from outer space.

Within the past week the mysterious translucent jelly has materialized in and around the fells of Patterdale, Cumbria.

While some put the mysterious goo down to meteor showers, others say the strange substance appears during rutting season.

A similar incident inspired the film 'The Blob' when in 1950 four policemen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, came across a huge disk of quivering jelly which measured six feet in diameter.

But unlike the hit 1958 horror film starring Steve McQueen these blobs don't terrorize the community and there have been no reports of any other supernatural behavior.

The substance is known as 'Star Jelly' and some say is left over from meteor showers but its sporadic appearance around the world has continually dumb-founded scientists.

The last reported sighting came in 2009 when it was discovered in the hills of Scotland.

It had been suggested that the blob, which can be tracked back to the 14th Century, could be the remains of frogs, toads or worms, though tests have been inconclusive.

Rob Shephard, a holiday-cottage owner, of Patterdale, was one of the first to encounter the slime which has invaded the area.

Mr Shephard, 43, said: 'I first found out about the jelly from some friends on Monday and the next day I went out into the fells looking for it as I was intrigued.

'They said they had looked it up and it could be 'star jelly' - caused by a meteor shower.

'I know of at least five other people who have come across it in the past week,but as far as I know it has never been seen in these parts before.

'Within twenty minutes of the walk I came across the jelly myself. There were about nine or ten blobs of it floating on top of some puddles. They were the size of my foot.

'I didn't touch the jelly as it was pretty horrible weather up in the fells so I just took some snaps and made my way down.

'But I will definitely be going up again, and might try and put some in a container, although from everything I have read this stuff evaporates pretty quickly.

'I am not sure why this jelly has materialized but at first I thought it could have something to do with the rutting season.

'There are lots of stags in Scotland where the jelly has occurred before. But I would like to think meteor showers are involved.'

Tom Driscoll, 53, the owner of Patterdale Village Store, has also been left baffled by the appearance of the mysterious gelatinous blobs.

He said: 'I was walking at the weekend with my partner when we came across six or eight piles of the stuff.

'My initial thought was that it could be frog spawn, but when I had a closer look I realized this was not the case.

'I touched it and it had the consistency of frog spawn but some of the pieces were as big as a person's foot as I didn't think it was anything that a human or animal could make.

'I have lived here for six years, and I go walking in the fells three to four times a week, but never before have I seen such a thing.

'It has left me totally flummoxed.'

His partner, Gillian Beggs, 60, added: 'There was talk that the jelly could be related to the rutting season, which sees stags round up female deer for mating. But if this was the case we would have noticed it before.

'I have no idea what it could be, and I am baffled by it. I will be going out into the fells again today to try and collect some.'

Dr Hans Sluiman, an algae expert at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, was involved in the 2009 investigations into the appearance of the blobs in Scotland.

He said: 'At the time I put some of the material under the microscope. I was trying to determine if it contained algae. I discovered a few very small algae cells, but came to the conclusion these had entered the jelly via contamination with plant matter.

'I did discover that the jelly is made up almost entirely of water, but was not able to find out exactly what it was.

'The trouble is that the jelly does not appear very often, and once it has been brought down from the hills it is not very fresh.

'It is possible that it is down to toxic frogs that have been eaten by other animals and then spat out, but nobody knows for sure.'


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