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Frank Leppard, starfish on the beach

Record breaking mass stranding of starfish

Thanet’s beaches have seen snow replaced with thousands of dead starfish and other sea life as the thaw finally arrives.

Although mass strandings are fairly common, reports indicate that this may be the biggest mass stranding on record for the UK. Local photographers shared the story on social media which has been picked up by the national press.

Is this normal?

According to Andrew Cabrinovic of the Natural History Museum, they occur to some extent every year. He said, “Starfish strandings such as this one are not unusual, and occur to a greater or lesser degree every year. However, strandings on this scale do not happen often.”

It seems the cold snap immediately followed by stormy weather is to blame for this record starfish death. Distressing as it is to witness, the starfish seen on Thanet’s beaches represent a very tiny fraction of the total population. As Starfish breed quickly this should not be a threat to their continued existence.

Your reactions to the starfish mass strandings.

The cover image of this post is thanks to local photographer Frank Leppard who, like the snow, was out and about taking amazing pictures of the event.

Here are some more of Frank’s photographs

Frank has given me permission to share some of his photographs and I’d like to thank him for his generosity.

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More Twitter reactions to the starfish stranding

This event has become international news

The remarkably sad and record-breaking mass stranding of sea life in the area has echoed even beyond the shores of our country. I have little doubt that this is something the world will talk about for some time to come. I just wish Thanet had some good news to share with the world too.

Keep sharing your pictures

Should you see anything interesting around Thanet and take a picture, please do share it with us so we can show everyone. You can contact us via our Facebook page or by our Twitter account. Facebook usually gets a faster reply as Twitter can be a bit noisy sometimes. Alternatively, leave us a message in our forum.

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