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Jogger in Dover makes ‘penguin’ sighting near port in optical illusion

A jogger says he had to do a double take when he noticed what he thought was a colony of penguins along the harbour wall.

Stunned by what he saw, Steve Curran stopped in his tracks when he found what looked like eight of the Antarctic seabirds next to Dover port yesterday evening.

Are these shapes next to Dover port penguins? Picture: Steve Curran
Are these shapes next to Dover port penguins? Picture: Steve Curran

He took a photograph and commented on a local residents’ Facebook page: “Out running, could have sworn penguins were walking up next to the port - had to double take.”

But upon closer examination, he realised this was an optical illusion and nothing like what he initially believed he had seen.

Mr Curran told KentOnline: “When the evening sun hits them it gives a cool illusion. But it’s definitely not penguins.”

What he actually saw were metal poles with buoys and seaweed on them - and he’s not the only resident to be fooled by the trick of the eye.

He shared the image on the Dover for Dovorians (original) Facebook page which by earlier today had attracted 18 comments of curiosity and amusement.

Emma Clubb wrote: “I even walked all the way up there and there was another lady that thought the same and we were laughing together.”

Kent has had several mistaken sightings of penguins over the past couple of years.

But they have at least turned out to be actual birds when guillemots, which are also black and white sea birds, have been sighted.

The discovery of a supposed penguin in Folkestone in January 2021 caused a social media sensation.

Meanwhile, a stunned man thought he had seen one in Ramsgate in December 2022.

In Dover, a creature that was also thought to be a penguin was seen waddling along the seafront in January 2023.

It also became a social media hit, attracting 157 comments and 227 shares.

In all these cases experts believed that these were guillemots, which are native to the UK.

Wild penguins live almost exclusively in the Antarctic and the only ones in the Northern Hemisphere are in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, which are hundreds of miles off the South American coast.

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