A mys­tery of mi­nus­cule pro­por­tions

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - PAULA HULBURT

A Marl­bor­ough man is look­ing for help to solve a mys­tery of mi­nus­cule pro­por­tions.

Ev­ery time it rains thou­sands of tiny snail-like shells ap­pear on the path out­side David and Pat Ol­liver’s house.

In­vis­i­ble to the naked eye, the pin-sized hulls lay seem­ingly dis­carded, only to be crunched un­der­foot.

The sud­den ap­pear­ance has left the Blen­heim pen­sioner puz­zled.

‘‘I’ve never struck any­thing like it in my life.

‘‘It re­ally makes you won­der where they came from and you’d think if there were lit­tle snails about then there would be big snails too but I hardly ever see any, or any trails.

‘‘It’s past April Fool’s Day so peo­ple will know I’m not jok­ing. I re­ally want to know what they are and where they come from.’’

David says the foot­path out­side their Spring­land’s home is awash with the empty shells.

While he says he is un­aware if his neigh­bours have seen the same phe­nom­e­non, the mys­te­ri­ous oc­cur­rence only ever hap­pens at the front of the prop­erty.

‘‘To start with we thought they were bits of gravel or sim­i­lar. If

‘‘It's past April Fool's Day so peo­ple will know I'm not jok­ing. I re­ally want to know what they are and where they come from.’’

there’s a de­cent amount of rain it’s crunch, crunch, crunch as far as the front door.

‘‘I only re­alised they were shells when I had a look un­der a mag­ni­fy­ing glass and as far as I can see, there’s noth­ing in them.’’

The first few shells started ap­pear­ing about two years ago and grad­u­ally in­creased in num­ber. David says there are now so many of them they of­ten seem to ‘‘clump to­gether’’.

‘‘We didn’t pay much at­ten­tion at first and it re­ally all started with the noise so I picked up a few and looked at them care­fully.

‘‘They are per­fectly formed shells; it’s just re­ally strange and I’d love to know about them.

‘‘It’s quite a mys­tery.’’

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