TNB Night Owl – Big Earthworms

Earthworm, Photo by Katja Schulz

Giant insect movies tend to amuse biologists. The creatures, remarkably resilient at their tiny sizes, would naturally seem to make perfect foils for army tanks and rifles were they to grow immense. Unfortunately, weight ratios would make movement difficult and their breathing mechanisms would render it impossible for the creatures to get enough oxygen. Far from being a monstrous combatant ready to take on the military, a giant insect would lay on the ground for a couple of minutes, then die.

The relative delicacy compared to the size is mirrored in the African giant earthworm. The beasts are fragile and their bodies rupture fairly easily… but it’s a large body. The worms have been reported to grow more than 21 feet long, with verified specimens reaching about nine feet in length.

They’re not amazingly thick; about the width of a thumb. If you want huge earthworms with significant width, you have to go down to South America.

The Ecuadorian rain forests are the home of a bunch of giant worm species, but there’s one which has raised a bunch of questions… because nobody’s even sure which exact species it might be.

It’s big, it’s thick… but it’s not as long as the African ones; it measured at only about five feet. Unfortunately it seems far more hardy than its African cousins.

Forget the giant insect movies. Giant worm movies. That’s what the army should have been fighting all along.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.