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Yesterday my parents discovered these 'things' attached to the varnished wooden fascia board outside the downstairs bathroom. They are attached to the outside of the house, in a sheltered spot. They live in Somerset, UK.

They are approximately 6 cm in length/diameter (some are round and some not - see photos), and have been there for about a week (it is about a week since this part of the house was looked at).

My questions are: 1) What are they? Mould? Fungus? Insect? 2) Is it damaging the wood, and therefore should it be removed?

One of the non-circular 'things' with a tape measure for scale

Side view - to show how they are attached

Circular 'thing'

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    It sort of looks like wolf's milk slime mold, but they're usually much smaller than your photos. – Matthew Apr 12 '20 at 15:01
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    My first thought was an insect casing or cocoon, like leaf scale, but these things are huge! I have installed Google Lens on my phone and it is pretty handy on identifying items, I would try that. – Jack Apr 12 '20 at 15:13
  • What is your location?, I haven’t seen anything quite like that in the Pacific Northwest, but I agree it looks like a growth or some kind of critter. Looking at the wolf’s milk I don’t see the area around the base but did see some that were single with no scale that looked similar. My wife has that app on her phone it may identify it it is cool.++ – Ed Beal Apr 12 '20 at 16:46
  • I have added the location - we're in the UK, not the USA. I agree; it looks like wolf's milk, but I don't know if it can grow that big. I'll definitely try out Google Lens - good idea. – Tempest16 Apr 12 '20 at 16:49
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    I'm married to a naturalist. She suggests cutting one open. She thinks it looks like a fungus (which can spring up in that timespan) and its color may be due to blending with the pigments in the paint. – Matthew Apr 12 '20 at 19:04
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My dad removed them this morning, and they are a fungus. A lot of dark spores came out when he pierced one (see photo).

The fungus didn't damage the paintwork, as can be seen in the photos; it just left a mess of spores behind.

Site of removed fungus, with paintwork damaged

Contents of one of the fungus

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They look like some types of spider egg sacs. https://spidermentor.com/2018/01/02/the-egg-sac-gallery/

Usually the spider hangs around, but not always.

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