Zippy from TV classic Rainbow turns up in a limpet
It has long puzzled fans of the cult children’s television show Rainbow – if Bungle is a bear and George a hippo, what kind of creature is Zippy?
Now a diver appears to have answered the long-standing conundrum - Zippy is a limpet.
This seemingly happy, smiling face was found in the waters off the coast of Devon.
And the unusual markings on the tiny blue-rayed limpet have prompted comparisons with Zippy - the famously wide-mouthed puppet with a zip for a mouth from the 1970s children’s TV show.
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Limpets feed on kelp down to about 30metres and this member of the mollusc family is named after the brilliant shower of iridescent blue markings splashed across the soft body.
But at just 15mm in length the fine details are quite difficult to pick out, particularly underwater.
Local snorkeler John Hepburn was surprised to find this “very satisfied” looking limpet at Wembury Point, near Plymouth.
He said: “These sea snails are quite small – this one was less than a centimetre – but they are probably the prettiest to be found on our foreshores.
“It was so small that I didn’t realise it had these unusual markings until I got home and looked at the picture on the computer.”