While driving through part of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, entomologist and explorer Phil Torres found an earthworm – one that was four feet in length!
The giant earthworm is named Martiodrilus crassus or ‘worm which feeds on dogs and small children’. The rare species, found in the Amazon, can grow up to seven feet from end to end. In comparison, Torres’ iPhone looked miniature when placed next to the massive annelid.
“It had a surprisingly similar feel to the earthworms I dig up in my yard,” said Torres. “It felt like a long, slimy, ridged muscle. It seems like it is 90 per cent muscle, 9 per cent dirt, 1 per cent nervous system.
“If I were starving out there, I might be tempted to cook it.”
He added that the worm had a beautiful, shiny, purple-blue skin, with tiny bristles for digging. Once in the soil, they make gurgling sounds (similar to a hungry stomach) as they move.
As impressive as this species is of worm, it’s not the largest. That title belongs to the giant Gippsland earthworm, which measures up to nine feet long and lives in Australia (of course).