Whelk eggs.

The common whelk is the largest sea snail found in the sea around the UK.

They lay their eggs in a spongy mass of up to 2000 eggs on the seabed. Once hatched, these balls of empty egg capsules often wash up on the shore.

The first whelks to hatch will eat their developing siblings to give themselves extra energy to help them survive.

This large mass of eggs shows most of the whelks have not yet hatched. Empty egg capsules dry and the lightweight balls blow up the beach, in the past, it has been said sailors used them like a sponge.