A Tayside community has fallen in love with an unusual seafaring visitor which has affectionately been named “Alan”.
When Monifieth resident Sharron Phin was out walking her dog on the beach early on Wednesday morning, she came across a large, red octopus making its way across the sand.
Since taking a video of the unusual sea creature, her children have nicknamed him Alan and he has become an internet sensation.
Some local youngsters have even been sending Sharron drawings they have been doing of Alan the octopus.
Sharron said: “The tide was quite far out and I was walking my dog along the beach when I almost tripped over something red and orange in colour.
“I looked and it was an octopus – when I took my phone out I noticed it was moving so I took a video.
“After doing a bit of research online I discovered they only live for 30 minutes outside the water and are often found on the sea bed so it was quite unusual to find.”
Sharron, who works at McManus Galleries in Dundee, continued: “I posted the video online and people from the local community got quite excited.
“People have actually sent me drawings their kids have done after being inspired by the video of Alan.
“It’s been a nice change to the lockdown – he has given people something to talk about.”
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said if members of the public spot an octopus on land they should leave the animal alone.
He said: “Octopuses can survive on land for a few minutes and often crawl between rock pools looking for food.
“Although not seen very often, they are found in UK waters.
“If members of the public spot an octopus on land we’d encourage them to leave the aquatic creature alone to make its way to the nearest tide pool.
🐙 found this guy on the beach this morning! Isn’t he amazing! They are found in our waters but it’s not often you find them on the beach. Luckily there were rock pools around so hopefully this one would have made it to safety. They can survive around 30 minutes outside of water.
Posted by Sharron Phin on Wednesday, 27 May 2020
“If anyone spots an animal in distress or that they’d like more advice on, they can always call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
“We are open seven days a week, 7am until 9pm.”