The Giant Gippsland: Australia’s monster earthworms

First spiders, then crocodiles, now Anaconda-sized earthworms? Australia is really making it hard for me to pay them a visit. The Giant Gippsland, which can be found in Gippsland in the south-eastern part of Australia, is 31 inches long and one inch thick. That makes it the world’s largest species of earthworms. But worry not, though they may measure up to two meters in length, they are very much gentle giants.

The Gippsland won’t try to eat you like the giant earthworms in that iconic Kevin Bacon movie, ‘Tremors’. In fact, they spend most of their time buried quietly three to five feet deep underground, where conditions are ideal for their slithery bodies.

The earthworms, despite their hulking size, are easy to kill. Lifting them carelessly can crush their fragile bodies in an instant. But we don’t want to do that. Because one, Steve Irwin would get mad at us, and two, the giants are currently labelled ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Their population numbers are dwindling because of destruction of habitat and slow reproduction rates.

Via Oddity Central