HUNDREDS of sea potatoes have washed up on a Cornish beach.

The baseball-like orbs covered a beach at Wherrytown in Penzance following a spell of wet and windy weather.

Rosie Hendricks was on the beach earlier today with her daughter, sister and nephew when she noticed the "odd-looking" creatures.

Ms Hendricks, from Penzance, who had never seen anything like it before, said: "I wasn't sure what they were."

Other beach-goers were puzzled by the mysterious looking orbs.

They are, in fact, are common species of urchin known as sea potatoes. They are related to starfish and are normally covered with little spines.

Two years ago thousands of sea potatoes were discovered at Long Rock, near Penzance.

Speaking at the time Martin Attrill, director of the marine institute at Plymouth University, said: “They are not harmful at all. Back in the day my daughter, aged about six, enjoyed digging them up and holding them like a pet then letting them burrow home again.”

On their website The Wildlife Trusts says: "The Sea Potato is a medium-sized sea urchin that lives buried in sandy and muddy seabeds all around UK coasts.

"It lives in a burrow between 8 and 15cm deep and can be found buried on beaches and in the seabed out to depths of 200m.

"It feeds on detritus collected from within its burrow using its tube feet. When alive, it is covered in fine, beige spines that give it a furry appearance. Often, the empty test (shell) is found washed ashore and is white and brittle."