The rare rainbow sea slug that's been spotted in UK waters

  • Watch rare sea slug spotted in Cornwall

A rainbow-coloured sea slug has been spotted in Cornwall in what experts say is an extremely rare sighting.

It is only the second time the creature has been spotted in UK waters - and the first time it has ever been seen in Cornwall.

The slug - officially named babakina anadoni - was found by Kymm Sandrum while she was snorkelling off the coast of west Cornwall. 

She told ITV News West Country: "I don't want to give the exact location away so as not to endanger the creature.

"At first I thought it was a fishing lure as I find them all of the time, but then it moved. I didn't know how rare it was until I got home and showed my friends, I was pretty blown away.

"When I first saw it, I was just so excited, the colours were amazing. The photos don't do it justice.

"I see loads of things, I swim every day urchins, sea cucumbers, strawberry worms, seals, you name it. I swim all year round so I get to see so much. I am blessed to have this on my doorstep but I've never seen anything as beautiful as this, except my cat, Puzzle.”

The first UK sighting of the species happened just a few weeks ago off the Isles of Scilly, when Seasearch volunteer Allen Murray was exploring an uninhabited rock near 

It is a member of the aeolid nudibranch family, which are known for their bright colours and unique shapes.

Matt Slater at Cornwall Wildlife Trust said: “This find is really exciting – it is certainly one of the most beautiful sea slugs I have ever seen. 

"The fact that another has been found shows that the first confirmed UK record in Scilly earlier this year was not a one-off. Like many marine animals, this species has a larval stage where they drift in the oceans currents.

"If conditions are good, they survive and it is possible there are more out there. 

"Please keep your eyes peeled and report any unusual sightings to Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Records like these are vital in helping us understand and better protect our seas."

Sightings around the world are few and far between, the creatures have only been spotted a few times along the west coast of Spain and further south in the Atlantic.