World renowned scientist Stephen Hawking of Cambridge delights visitors to ‘Sunny Hunny’as he pays a visit to Sea Life Sanctuary

Prof Stephen Hawking visits the Sea Life Sanctuary in Hunstanton. Picture: CARLEY TUTTLE

Prof Stephen Hawking visits the Sea Life Sanctuary in Hunstanton. Picture: CARLEY TUTTLE - Credit: Archant

Tourists watched in amazement as world-famous, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking made a surprise visit to Hunstanton’s Sea Life Sanctuary.

Professor Stephen Hawking. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Professor Stephen Hawking. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The author of A Brief History of Time unexpectedly turned up at the attraction on the West Norfolk coast on Thursday, August 10 during a visit to the area.

The 75-year-old - played by film star Eddie Redmayne in the movie The Theory of Everything - was given a tour by Sea Life Centre member of staff Ally Sharp and spent about two hours looking around its wide variety of animals including otters, penguins, sharks, turtles and crocodiles.

He also spent some time at the seal rescue centre and hospital, which has the facilities to look after around 15 poorly seal pups at any one time.

Adam Makinson, duty manager at the Sea Life Sanctuary in Hunstanton, said: “It was completely unexpected to have Stephen Hawking turn up. We were all a bit shocked.

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“It was fantastic. Some of the staff were extremely excited to meet him. Who wouldn’t be?

“It was a general visit where he had a look around the displays and saw what things we had here. We had our team spend a little bit of time with him and give him a tour.”

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Prof Hawking was born in Oxford and studied at Oxford and Cambridge universities, where he became famous for his research into the basic laws which govern the universe.

With Roger Penrose, his research showed that Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.

He also discovered that black holes should not be completely black but instead emit radiation and eventually disappear.

He has worked at Cambridge University’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics since 1979, holding the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1979 until 2009. He still retains an office at the department today.

His achievements, discoveries and scientific works have all been made despite the fact the fact he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease after his 21st birthday, which for many years has left him wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computer to speak.

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