A large chunk of an American space rocket has been found in the sea off the Isles of Scilly.
The rocket section is under guard on a Tresco beach Tresco Island
A large section of a spacecraft, measuring about 10m (32ft) by 4m (13ft), was spotted on the surface between Bryher and Tresco.
Coastguards believe it is from the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 which exploded after take-off in Florida in June.
The section of rocket was found floating between the islands of Bryher and Tresco Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Local boatmen towed the section to Tresco where it is under guard on the beach.
Joseph Thomas, from Tresco Boat Services, found the section of rocket while travelling around the north end of the island.
He said: “There were lots of gulls on the water and I thought initially it was a dead whale and the birds were feeding off it.”
Mr Thomas found the debris, which was “covered in goose barnacles”, at about 14:00 GMT on Thursday about 100m (328ft) from the shore.
“I didn’t know what it was. We tried to drag it ashore using a hook, but it bent it.
“First thoughts, were that it was part of a plane, but then we scraped the barnacles off and we saw it was part of a rocket.
“It’s not every day part of a rocket washes ashore at home.”
“It was too heavy for us to tow.”
Coastguards issued a warning to shipping in the area after the discovery.
Spokesman Martin Leslie said: “The markings show an American flag. It looks like it’s an American rocket and seems most likely to be the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 which blew up shortly after take-off from Cape Canaveral in June.
“We’re grateful for all those who helped in its recovery, it was a great example of the community working together.”
The US flag clearly shows the provenance of the rocket which exploded shortly after take-off Maritime and Coastguard Agency
The rocket, which broke up shortly after take-off and landed in the sea about 4,100 miles from the Isles of Scilly, was in the process of sending a cargo ship to the International Space Station.
Islander Pete Hicks, who towed the debris to shore, tweeted: “Towed in and beached a piece of flotsam earlier. Thoughts were could be aviation parts ..didnt imagine space race.”
Cornwall-based Michelin chef Nathan Outlaw tweeted: “Look at all those goose neck barnacles! How much do you want for them. Make a great special!”