Manchester artist John Hyatt took some photographs of the landscape around Rossendale in Lancashire. But when he later enlarged those he images he noticed they showed tiny winged creatures that looked like fairies.
Hyatt told the Manchester Evening News
"It was a bit of a shock when I blew them up, I did a double take.
"I went out afterwards and took pictures of flies and gnats and they just don't look the same.
"People can decide for themselves what they are.
"The message to people is to approach them with an open mind.
"I think it's one of those situations where you need to believe to see.
"A lot of people who have seen them say they have brought a little bit of magic into their lives and there's not enough of that around."
Hyatt's fairy photos are currently on display at the Whitaker Museum
in Whitaker Park, Rossendale.
When not photographing fairies, Hyatt is director of MIRIAD
(the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design).
So what could those things in his photographs be? I have no idea. Perhaps they're just insects. Perhaps they're bits of floating pollen. Or perhaps they're something else entirely.
I doubt the shapes have been photoshopped in. That seems too easy.
I'm also pretty sure Hyatt didn't prop the figures up with hatpins, which was the technique used by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths to create the Cottingley Fairies
Not surprised that none of those Lankies spotted this right away, but slightly disappointed at Our Esteemed Editor.
Though, on the other hand, I'm definitely no bug expert!
I'm certain they are not real ("fake" would imply someone "faking" the things on purpose and I still have enough hope in humanity to wish it was an honest mistake, even though the artist comments seem to hint it was done on purpose) - if not because fairies don't exist, then because even though they appear to have the right amount of appendages none of these creatures appear to possess any joints on their arms or legs or any further anatomical details that would mark them as humanoid.
Now that I look at them they could be small blossoms floating in the wind, with the petals being the "wings" and the filaments the limbs. However as I'm not from the US I can't begin to imagine what sort of a plant would bloom like that.
That's all counting out Photoshop, of course.
And yes, I've seen photographs (and films - maybe it's in Attenborough's Bugs series?) of mayflies dancing together and catching the light exactly like that.
(By the way, "dancing"... that's entomologist-speak for "mass orgy". This scene is not suitable for pre-watershed viewing.)
And to the possibility of faeries existing? I would say 50/50. Why? There are so many cloning experiments that I'm sure have being going on for years. Also, there are so many "new" things that people are discovering. I put it in quotation marks because these things are already in existence; most are just rising because of earthly or weather-wise changes. Who knows? Maybe Jiminy Cricket does.
If they think they could be fairies, we lock them up and deport them? 😊
Solve a lot of our current problems.