A strange creature with a resemblance to the Loch Ness Monster has been spotted on the Somerset coast.

Tourists in Clevedon, about 30 miles from Bristol, were shocked to see what looked like the Scottish mythical beast so far from home after spotting the "sea monster" next to the town's Victorian Pier.

Anna Purse was walking along the seafront with six-year-old daughter Grace on Sunday (February 26) when she caught sight of the creature, which she said was several feet long, bobbing up and down in the water.

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"[We] were sitting on one of the benches before the pier," Mrs Purse told SomersetLive. "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 whilst we were sat there.

"My daughter Grace said it looked like a sea monster. Just the shape of it reminded me of Nessie."

And it wasn't just Mrs Purse and her daughter who spotted the creature – others also rushed to the shore to post pictures of the so-called monster, with some saying she had clearly gotten "lost" as she was so far from Loch Ness, where she usually resides.

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Meanwhile locals took the opportunity to poke fun at the local council, saying: "Nessie getting a swim in before the council starts charging to swim in the sea."

The Loch Ness monster, also known as Nessie, is one of the UK's most popular mythical beings and has been spotted by tourists and locals alike hundreds of times.

The creature, thought to look like a dinosaur, is most commonly spotted in Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, but an official sighting has not been recorded at the lake since October 11 last year.

And though the Bristol Channel might be far from home, southwest England isn't the furthest she's travelled.

A creature resembling descriptions of the monster was spotted earlier this month off the coast of North Carolina and there have been repeated sightings in central Africa, with some fans thinking Nessie "may be on holiday".

Gary Campbell, who logs all official sightings of the beast, said 2017 was this century's record year, with a whopping eight encounters with the creature.

"This is the most we have had this century,” Gary said in November that year, adding "In recent years the most sightings in a year we have had is 17 – and that was in 1996."

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