A woman was left flabbergasted after this living starfish fell out of the sky – and landed on her head.

Stunned Julie Anne Gilburt, 39, had just popped out of her studio in Brighton when she was hit by something “squidgy”.

Artist Julie Anne thought someone had thrown a ball at her head, then looked at her feet and saw that it was a bright orange starfish that was still alive.

Julie Anne believes the echinoderm was either dropped by a greedy seagull or whipped into the air by Britain’s recent stormy weather.

Mother-of-two Julie Anne, who has lived in Brighton all her life, said: “I had just walked out of the studio because I was planning to use spray paint, which can’t be used in doors.

“I felt something squidgy hit my head. I was a bit stunned at first and your mind assumes that it is something trivial like a ball.

“But I looked at the ground and saw a bright orange starfish.

“I could not believe it. I was so shocked. I mean what are the chances of that happening?

“My first reaction was that it was raining starfish.

“We thought it might be the stormy weather but then we realised the most obvious explanation is that it was dropped by a seagull.

“All my friends said it was a sign but I am not superstitious.”


Julie was hit by the starfish outside Jag Gallery on seafront road Madeira Drive, in Brighton, on November 19.

The hilarious spectacle also was spotted by fellow artist Sonia Canals, 45, who works at the gallery alongside Julie.

Sonia said: “It has got to be one of the most bizarre and hilarious things I have ever seen.

“It just dropped out of the sky.

“Our immediate reaction was to look up to see where it had come from but there was nothing there.

“We think it must have been dropped by a seagull but you can’t know for certain.

“It was still alive at the time so I put it back into the water.

“It will be a miracle if it survived."

Strange things falling from the sky are not as rare as you might imagine.

There have been cases across the globe of all manner of animals in downpours.

  • An unidentified animal (thought to be a cow) ripped to tiny pieces fell out of the sky in California on August 1, 1869.
  • In Bath, jellyfish fell from the sky in 1894.
  • And in 1989, in Ipswich, Australia, Harold and Degen’s front lawn was covered with about 800 “sardines” that rained from above during a light shower.
  • More recently, spiders fell from the sky in Salta Province, Argentina on April 6, 2007.

The phenomenon is thought to be caused by strong winds picking up creatures and carrying them a short distance.

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