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Thousands of dead starfish wash up on UK beach following vicious winter storm

Alex Lasker

Thousands of dead starfish and other sea creatures have washed up on beaches in Kent, England, after a raging winter storm nicknamed the "Beast from the East" slammed the region. 

According to the UK Marine Conservation Society, the so-called "Beast from the East" was the result of a polar vortex that brought freezing temperatures and high wind gusts from Siberia to the eastern coastline of England.

The organization explained that these winds can disturb the waters along the coast, creating large waves that churn up the seabed where many animals reside.

Creatures picked up by the currents can be pushed onto the shore during high tide and then left stranded after the tide retreats. Any surviving animals are then exposed to lethally frigid temperatures, according to the organization.

Chris Constantine, a resident of the area, said that "to see so many thousands dead on our beach was unsettling."

He added that while dead marine animals have washed up on the coastline following similar storms in the past, he had never witnessed anything of this scale before.

Thankfully, the UK Marine Conservation Society predicts that the event is unlikely to have a long-term impact on England's starfish populations.