Northern Ireland

Common goose barnacles wash up on Portstewart Strand

They may look like a prop from Pirates of the Caribbean, but these strange sea creatures are 100% authentic and are fast becoming the main tourist attraction at Portstewart Strand.

The common goose barnacles washed up on shore on Thursday morning, having attached themselves to a piece of driftwood.

It is the first time they have been spotted in the area for a number of years, according to the National Trust's beach manager Siobhan McKenna.

"They are a bit strange looking. People are coming down specifically to see them," she added.

"They have little shells and tentacles, which have attached themselves to some drift wood. We had been hoping they would get washed out to sea by the tide, but that hasn't happened yet.

"We are keeping them moist in the meantime with buckets of salt water."

Siobhan admitted there is a chance human intervention might be needed, if the waves do not wash the barnacles back out to sea.

"We want them to survive and we don't want to disturb them to much," she said.

"But we may have to carry them out to the water, if the tide doesn't pick them up."