Starry-eyed surprise for beach visitors

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Visitors at the top of Blackpool Tower were left starry-eyed as they gazed out at a giant 330ft starfish on the beach below.

A team of staff from Sea Life Blackpool carved the enormous artwork into the sand beneath Blackpool’s Tower Headland.

It took the team of six more than four hours to complete, aimed to highlight the conservation of the starfish and the importance of this remarkable and often-overlooked creature.

Matthew Titherington, general manager at Sea Life Blackpool, added: “We have always known that starfish are fascinating creatures, which is why we have invested £150,000 in our new display highlighting them.

“We were keen to mark the occasion properly and, with starfish a common occurrence just across the Promenade on Blackpool beach, we decided to add our own version.

“It took an incredible effort from all the team to get the project finished in the narrow window we had available between high tides, but we are all delighted with the result, as well as the amount of interest it generated among visitors passing by, who were astounded by how big it was.”

Scott Blacker, head aquarist at Sea Life Blackpool, explained: “Starfish are astonishing creatures and we want to give visitors the chance to get up close and personal to learn more about these awesome invertebrates, which belong to the Asteroidea class of marine life.

“We call them sea stars as they really are stars of the sea. People may be familiar with the everyday starfish that you might find on a beach. However, there’s a massive array of different types of starfish of all different shapes, sizes and colours.”