Internet Is On Fire Over This Worm Video

Our world is filled with a wide variety of strange — at times even freakish — creatures that capture attention through their oddity, even as the sight or thought of them is enough to make some recoil in horror.

So it is with a weird worm featuring a crescent-shaped head that a Malaysian man named Danish Ho caught on video recently.

At first, he thought it was not-so-ordinary snake, according to the U.K. Daily Mail, but even that wasn’t close.

The “snake” turned out to be a hammerhead worm, or Bipalium, a carnivorous part of the family of flatworm species that Ho spotted while out hiking with his family.

The video clip of the worm slithering along the ground was posted online and has been shared tens of thousands of times and viewed by millions of people, according to the Daily Mail.

According to the Australian Geographic, the hammerhead worm has no circulatory, respiratory or skeletal system, can reproduce asexually and even uses the same orifice to both eat prey and later dispose of the digested remains.

The bizarre-looking worm, which is native to the temperate and tropical regions of Asia and Australia, has also been discovered in Europe and the United States, where it is considered an invasive species, one that typically preys upon regular earthworms.

It feeds by locating other worms using chemical receptors in its head, covering the prey in a slimy mucus, cutting it up into pieces and then injecting those pieces with digestive enzymes, essentially sucking out the “juice” that is left.

According to National Geographic, the hammerhead worm is hermaproditic, meaning it can produce both sperm and eggs to be fertilized internally and implanted into the ground.

However, the worm can also reproduce asexually through a process known as fragmentation, in which a part of the worm breaks off and grows into a complete and separate worm within the span of a couple weeks.

There is still a lot that remains unknown about the worms, and though they obviously don’t deliberately present a threat a humans like some snakes can, some versions of the species are known to be toxic and could be harmful to people, so it is advised by experts that they not be handled if found in a garden.

But feel free to take a video. It will probably be an internet sensation.


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