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Tens of thousands of starfish washed ashore

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Tens of thousands of starfish have washed ashore on a beach in Ramsgate, Kent.

The staggering number has been reported by beach-goers and shared online - with images showing the sand completely covered by the invertebrates.

The starfish numbers that have washed up are unprecedented

Masses of the dead creatures are strewn across the beach along with lobsters, crabs and other sea wildlife.

The Marine Conservation Society says the extent of the scene is down to a combination of the recent cold weather with Storm Emma.

The snow and ice in the last few days have caused the shallow water to freeze, or become close to freezing, and the depth of the waves caused by Storm Emma hit the starfish particularly hard.

The trail of dead starfish could be seen from Ramsgate along to beaches at Broadstairs in Kent.

One visitor likened the spectacle to "Armageddon".

[Video by Keith Ross]

Although it can be a distressing image, experts say mass stranding is a not a cause for huge concern.

Common starfish are often found on coastlines throughout Britain and are known to re-produce quickly.