Mysterious massive 'whirlpool' spotted in sea off UK coast

A ‘whirlpool’ seen in the sea in a remote part of Scotland has led to intense speculation about what might be going on.

Drone operator Paul Young, 46, photographed the raging water on Sunday evening – with his pictures showing waves and foam forming a long trail.

Accountant Paul, from Girvan, South Ayrshire, captured the sight in nearby Lendalfoot beach.

He said: ‘I had assumed it was a riptide and it looked a bit like a whirlpool. I posted it on social media to see if anyone knew.

‘I’ve had loads of folk saying things from herring spawning to effluent, burst pipes, to methane leaks to possible explosives.

‘There are loads of old bombs in there. I don’t think it’s that because I watched for about an hour and if it had been a bomb it would have been one huge, quick explosion.

‘It’s near a landfill site, which I noticed later on, so I assumed it was effluent.’

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has confirmed the phenomena is being caused by recent heavy rain mixing with waste water that is being discharged into the sea.

A spokesman said it had received reports of a ‘visible upwelling’ in the location where Paul had been filming.

‘This is a routine permitted discharge of treated landfill leachate from Straid Farm Landfill,’ he said.

‘Leachate is rainwater which has come in to contact with waste within a landfill. It is collected within lined containment cells and then treated prior to discharge to the environment.’

SEPA has reassured nearby residents that the operator discharging waste water is required to undertake sampling to ensure it meets strict quality limits so it does not pollute the sea.

‘Given the heavy and sustained rainfall over the last couple of weeks there has been an increased volume of leachate needing to be treated and discharged,’ the spokesman added.

‘This will have resulted in a prolonged discharge and more noticeable visual impact than normal. SEPA will continue to monitor compliance with the operator’s permit.’

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