What happens when a six-year-old YouTube star with a passion for science meets her online hero?
They go rock-pooling in St Andrews and make a new video together.
And that’s exactly what happened when Marvellous Marthy spent the afternoon with Dundee-based Marine Mumbles on the blustery East Sands.
Marvellous Marthy, otherwise known as Marthy Hill Davis, travelled almost 300 miles from her home in Cheshire when her mum surprised her with a visit from marine biology graduate Elizabeth Mills.
Elizabeth has become well known for her YouTube channel Marine Mumbles where she enthuses about the marine life found in rock pools.
Marthy is a huge fan and the pair have struck up an online friendship over the past year.
The youngster often sends Elizabeth, a PhD student at Dundee University, photographs of marine creatures she has found to identify on Twitter.
And on Wednesday, Marthy’s dreams came true when Marine Mumbles turned up in St Andrews, where she was spending a few days on holiday.
“I was so excited,” said Marthy.
“I like going to the beach to build sandcastles and find crabs and I want to be a scientist like Marine Mumbles when I grow up.”
Marthy’s interest in science began at the start of the first lockdown when mum Gemma introduced her to the Global Science Show online.
She enjoyed it so much, she began performing her own science experiments and posting them on YouTube.
One of the videos featured on the virtual science lessons was of Elizabeth rock-pooling in St Andrews.
“Marthy watched it and asked if she could go rock-pooling,” said Gemma. “She hasn’t stopped since.
“Every Friday night is Marine Mumbles night. We have fish and chips and watch Marine Mumbles.”
Marthy has even publicly declared Elizabeth as her hero.
“She took part in a women’s day with the Global Science Show and was asked about her role mode,” said Gemma.
“I thought she would have chosen Florence Nightingale or Marie Curie but she chose Elizabeth.
“It’s such a good healthy role model to have for a young girl and Elizabeth has definitely piqued her interest in marine biology.”
The impact is amazing
Elizabeth, whose videos have been viewed more than 50,000 times, is delighted to be inspiring Marthy.
“It’s incredible,” she said. “I’ve done YouTube videos every week for three years and a lot of time and effort goes into it.
“I’ve always said if it makes a difference to one person then it’s worth it, but to actually see the impact on Marthy, especially in lockdown, is amazing.
“She’s found a new passion and it’s wonderful.”
Marthy and Elizabeth spent the whole of Wednesday afternoon on the East Sands in St Andrews and have collaborated on a new video to be posted on both YouTube channels.
And Marthy came armed with a list of creatures she hoped to find.
“I’ve found crabs, sea snails and lobsters but I’ve never had a sea squirt. It sooks up water and spits it out – it’s awesome,” she said.