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Sea creatures forced to use litter as homes in shocking images

Pictures show a lobster living in a traffic cone and sea anemones growing on a can of Irn Bru.

Sea anemones growing on a can of Irn Bru. (Ross McLaren/SWNS)
Sea anemones growing on a can of Irn Bru. (Ross McLaren/SWNS)

Sea creatures are making homes out of litter - including a lobster living in a traffic cone and sea anemones growing on a can of Irn Bru.

Images taken in Scottish waters show the sea life transforming discarded items into their new habitats.

Chemistry teacher Ross McLaren, 31, started documenting the makeshift habitats while diving around sea lochs in Scotland.

"The Irn Bru can shocked a lot of people,” he said.

"There is a bottle which looks like Budweiser or Buckfast, and a wheel rim, and marine life have made homes there."

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Lobster living inside a traffic cone in the tidal inlet of Sea Loch, Scotland. (Ross McLaren/SWNS)
Lobster living inside a traffic cone in the tidal inlet of Sea Loch, Scotland. (Ross McLaren/SWNS)
Sea creatures make a home out of discarded waste which resembles a teapot. (Ross McLaren / SWNS)
Sea creatures make a home out of discarded waste which resembles a teapot. (Ross McLaren / SWNS)

A lobster was found hiding in a traffic cone as he was diving near Fairlie Quay, Largs, North Ayrshire, earlier this month.

Dad-of-one Ross, from Kilwinning, Ayrshire, added: "I was really quite surprised to see it - the visibility is sometimes not the best and it wasn't the easiest shot to get.

"The marine life do use litter as habitat.

"On this occasion I thought it best to leave it as it looked like the lobster has set up its home in there.”

He said he often needed to weigh up the benefits of removing litter if it had a sea-creature living in it.

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Sea anemones make a home out of waste. (Ross McLaren / SWNS)
Sea anemones make a home out of waste. (Ross McLaren / SWNS)

Ross, who began diving in September 2016 , praised Scotland as one of the best places in the world for diving but said littering had skyrocketed since lockdown.

One distressing image showed a lobster with plastic tied around its claws, suggesting it had been caught and lobbed back into the water, taken in 2019.

Other discoveries included an old-fashioned kettle in Ballachulish, Highlands, and a bottle with a glove on it.

Ross added: "Most of the rubbish in my car is from doing dives, every six months I empty it out.

"Some of the stuff I've seen under the water is decades old - a Nintendo controller, and cans of Tennent's' with the pin-up girls on them.

"One day in Greenock I saw what I thought was a huge jellyfish but it was actually a Bag For Life.

Ross said: "There's a general increase in the amount of litter in water.

"People don't realise what an impact it is having.”