People think they've spotted the 'Loch Ness Monster' off the Somerset coast

A mystery ‘sea creature’ has been spotted in Somerset with witnesses comparing the strange-looking beast to the Loch Ness monster.

Visitors to the seaside town of Clevedon at the weekend were shocked to see what looked like the mythical creature paddling in the water next to the town’s Victorian pier.

Several feet long, the creature was snapped by many puzzled observers, who were trying to work out exactly what it was.

The estuary has welcomed other creatures including porpoises, the odd dolphin and seals.

And while this latest visitor to the waters off Somerset could well have been one of those, the pictures taken certainly conjure up images of the type of beast usually associated with the famous Scottish loch.

Anna Purse was out with her six year-old daughter Grace along the seafront on Sunday when she caught a glimpse of the ‘monster’ bobbing about in the water.

She said: ‘Myself and Grace were were sitting on one of the benches before the pier. The shape was right next to the pier and I noticed it moving.

‘It moved all the way along the sea in front of us while we were sat there. Grace said it looked like a sea monster, just the shape of it reminded me of Nessie.’

Others who spotted the creature also posted pictures and comments on social media with some saying it was obviously ‘lost’ and a long way home.

Some locals also used its appearance to poke fun at the controversial new road scheme on Clevedon seafront.

One local suggested it was trying to park on the now infamous ‘wiggly lines’ painted along The Beach, while another said: ‘Nessie getting a swim in before the council starts charging to swim to swim in the sea.’

Nessie is often described as large, long-necked, and with one or more humps protruding from the water.

Popular interest and belief in the creature has varied since it was brought to worldwide attention in 1933.

Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with a number of disputed photographs and sonar readings.

The scientific community explains alleged sightings of the Loch Ness Monster as hoaxes, wishful thinking and the misidentification of mundane objects.

Whether this is actually the Loch Ness Monster enjoying a winter break in Somerset will never be known. But the likely explanation is far more simple – and less exciting.

It is far more likely to be some unusual shaped driftwood that often washes up along the coast.

Mrs Purse added: ‘It was driftwood of course but just looked so unusual.’

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