the six massive yellow legs of a former oil production platform which have been anchored in the Cromarty Firth for four years.
This stunning picture of the so-called Pillars of Cromarty, recently taken by the Cromarty Firth Port Authority, has led to speculation about their future.
Since 2009 they have been moored close to the former Nigg fabrication yard where they were built. They were part of the first Tension-leg platform (TLP) and were built for Conoco's Hutton field in the UK sector between Shetland and Norway.
Inverness-based economist Tony Mackay does not see any immediate employment prospects for the structure.
He said: "I doubt if another use will be found for the TLP and the fact it has been in the firth for four years adds strength to that view."
He said given the current high price for scrap steel the TLP could well be sold off for scrap.
But Black Isle Councillor, historian David Alston said it would be would be missed.
He said: "I don't think anyone objects to the sight of these giant legs. If they had been done by Anthony Gormley, like his sculptures of figures at Crosby Beach near Liverpool, we would be world famous."