Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Legend of the Loch Ness Worm: even less scary than the original AND the copy

Hi girls - remember why you didn't date science geeks in high school?

Apparently the same people you didn't invite to your sleepovers has now discovered a rare worm in the flatlands of Idaho.

I quote: "Scientists scouring prairie land in Idaho have discovered a white worm whose fabled existence had drawn comparisons with the Loch Ness Monster." (Yes, many a time when I was a child my father would regale me with tales of the fabled white worm whose birth would signify the dawn of a mystical era for mankind, bringing hope and laughter blah blah blah boring bullshit)

I've attached the article without witty commentary because I find it funny enough as it is.

Sighted only a handful of times in 30 years and feared to have become extinct since 2005, the Palouse earthworm was reputed to spit at predators, smell of lilies and grow up to three feet long.

Sadly, the specimens discovered by conservationists from the University of Idaho do none of these things.

"One of my colleagues suggested we rename it the 'larger than average Palouse earthworm'," said Prof Jodi Johnson-Maynard, whose team started hunting for the creatures last summer in the heavily farmed Palouse region on Idaho's border with Washington state.
The adult worm they have discovered measured no more than 12 inches fully extended while a younger one was six or seven inches. The worms have translucent bodies, pink heads and bulbous tails. The adult was killed for dissection. The elusive animals, also rumoured to live in 15ft-deep burrows, were discovered after the scientists developed high voltage electric shockers that were stuck in the ground to draw worms to the surface.
The giant Palouse earthworm was said to have been common in the 1890s but much of its natural prairie habitat of steep, silty dunes had since been turned into agricultural land, apparently causing numbers to dwindle.
Prof Johnson-Maynard said that stories about the worms' giant length may have started because a boy found one and swung it around so vigorously in the air that it stretched.
She said the discovery was a "good day" for the worm as many had previously believed it had never even existed. (

Well, I'm glad the worm is having a good day. I'm sure Prof Johnson-Maynard can die in peace now, having seen the "elusive Loch Ness worm". All I can add is that THAT thing in the photo is an earthworm. Don't try to convince me otherwise. We've already established that:

1) It looks like an earthworm

2) It doesn't spit fire or smell like lilies

3) It is NOT 3 feet long

What are they EXCITED about??? I found a field mouse in my trash yesterday, you don't see me on here claiming I found the yeti? Seriously, there are things living behind my sink more exciting than that thing. Good job, America. You have now wasted thousands of dollars of grant money and you discovered...earthworms. I already discovered those when I was like, five.

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