Things found on an autumn beach

After several days of storms, strong winds and big seas, it was calmer for a few days this week, so on a day off I went exploring at Polzeath beach to see what the tides had brought in…..


Although this washed up, otherworldly squid isn’t itself massive in size, it is thought that creatures like this were the inspiration behind the legendary kraken…

In 1830 Alfred Tennyson published the irregular sonnet The Kraken, which described a massive creature that dwells at the bottom of the sea

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber’d and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Scyliorhinus canicula aka the small-spotted catshark, also known as the lesser-spotted dogfish, aka Rough-hound, aka Morgay (in Scotland and Cornwall). So many names, you might think it was in witness protection…


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‘A rare visitor to the UK, the mauve stinger jellyfish is generally found in deeper waters in the Atlantic Ocean. For this reason when it is found around the UK and Ireland it is most likely to turn up on the western coasts’ (info via

This beautiful little blue things are commonly called ‘by the wind sailors’ and have been a familiar sight for the past couple of weeks. When you see them, you can often expect more flotsam and jetsam to follow on the wind and the tide.

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