A MYSTERIOUS sea creature captured on video off the Skegness coast has been intriguing marine experts and beach-goers alike.
The footage, shot on Sunday, shows several fins bobbing up and down in the choppy water, just metres off the coast where children can be seen paddling in the shallow water.
London resident Rebecca Clarke, who took the video while visiting friends in Skegness, initially thought it was just rubbish floating on the surface but on further inspection decided it may be some sort of creature.
She said: “It might seem silly but I thought it looked rather reptilian, like a crocodile or a dragon as the fins seemed more rigid than they do on sharks.”
The video has since become a topic of conversation on national breakfast radio shows, with hosts offering outlandish suggestions for the creature’s taxonomy including a ‘sea monster’ or a ‘20 foot worm’,
Skegness RNLI coxswain John Irving was also intrigued by the footage of the creature, which he felt could either be a killer whale or a basking shark.
Neither species are regular visitors to the east coast, however a confirmed killer whale sighting had been made off the Wells coast in Norfolk earlier this year.
And Mr Irving has himself sighted a basking shark near Skegness, although that was many years ago.
Senior biologist Marcus Williams at the National Aquarium in Portsmouth has since confirmed that it is most likely one or two basking sharks.
He said: “It is unusual to see a basking shark for that area of coast, they are, however, typically spotted in the summer months and these we would estimate are larger than five meters.
“We have recently seen a second plankton bloom on which the species feed, with water temperatures in excess of 15 degrees Celsius, which are perfect conditions for these gentle giants.
“Interestingly, in the video, the water is choppy and typically not most suitable for basking sharks to feed.
“As a charity, with conservation at our core, we’d urge people to admire these spectacular creatures that are anything but monsters.”
l To view the video visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQxbkBgTyl8&feature=plcp or search for ‘Skegness Monster’ on Youtube.