'Alien' gargoyle on ancient Paisley Abbey
A gargoyle on a historic 13th Century abbey has caused a social media sensation with its resemblance to the monster from the Alien films.
A photograph of the gargoyle at Paisley Abbey, which looks like one from the 1980s movie, has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.
The Reverend Alan Birss said most of the gargoyles were replaced during a refurbishment in the early 1990s.
He thinks that one of the stonemasons must have been having a bit of fun.
Mr Birss, minister at the abbey, said that 12 medieval gargoyles which had been on the abbey for hundreds of years had to be taken down in 1991 because they had "crumbled and were in a very bad state".
The purpose of the grotesque figures was to take rain water away from the roof in the days before down pipes.
Just one of the original gargoyles was left outside the abbey to show how they would have looked, although there are medieval grotesques inside the building.
Mr Birss said a stonemason from an Edinburgh firm was contracted to create the new gargoyles.
"I think it was a stonemason having a bit of fun," he said.
"Perhaps the film was fairly new when they were carving this and if he was thinking of an alien perhaps the alien from the film was his idea of an alien.
"I'm sure he wasn't deliberately copying the alien in the film. It was just a concept of an alien."
Mr Birss said an internet search showed that someone had pointed out the similarity as far back as 1997.
"But it obviously did not pick up and take off then like it has now," he said.
Church officer Matthew McIntosh said: "It is a beautiful building. Paisley gets a bad press but the abbey is the jewel in the crown.
"People will be surprised and delighted by everything they see outside and inside."