Starfish 'Armageddon' as thousands wash up on beach

Thousands of dead starfish and other sea creatures have been found on British beaches following a week of snow.
The macabre scene in Ramsgate, Kent was said to be "like Armageddon" by one wildlife enthusiast.Lara Maiklem said she believed there were "hundreds of thousands" of starfish and other creatures that had been washed ashore after temperatures plummeted.She said: "It was incredible. There were starfish as far as the eye could see, there were fish in there and sea urchins.
Starfish 'Armageddon' as thousands wash up on beach

Dozens of other creatures were also found. Pic: Frank Leppard
"I think someone found a lobster in there as well - and some false teeth."It was amazing. I live on the coast but I spend most of my time in London mudlarking in the Thames."I had heard about the starfish so I went down. There were quite a lot of people."
Starfish 'Armageddon' as thousands wash up on beach

Big freeze leaves starfish dead
She said the trail of dead starfish stretched from Ramsgate to beaches in nearby Broadstairs. "We tried to save as many as we could but it was like Armageddon."
Starfish 'Armageddon' as thousands wash up on beach

Wildlife enthusiasts said they were shocked by the number of starfish. Pic: Frank Leppard
Ms Maiklem shared the pictures on her London Mudlark Facebook page, which prompted other people to post their own photographs.Frank Leppard, who took photographs, said: "Never seen so much dead sea life in one spot. So sad."
Starfish 'Armageddon' as thousands wash up on beach

More starfish were spotted further down the coast. Pic: Frank Leppard
Responding to his Facebook post, Natalie Garrett wrote: "Thankfully there are millions of starfish around the Kent coast and they breed like rabbits, but it's sad to see this kind of scene."The Marine Conservation Society said on its website: "The cause appears to be a combination of the extreme cold (where shallow water has frozen, or come close to freezing) and the depth at which storm waves have penetrated.
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"UK marine life is usually well-suited to cope with cold. Soft bodied anemones thrive in fast-moving currents, and crab and lobster tend to move from the shore into deeper water to avoid storms."Most animals become slow moving, even torpid when cold, so would have little opportunity to escape tempestuous waves."
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