South America is home to massive earthworms that continue to amaze scientists. Unfortunately, not everyone can make the trek to see the creatures in person. That's where scientist and explorer Phil Torres and his friends come in. In the short video above, shared by Gizmodo, the team gets up close and personal with a slimy resident of the Amazon.
During a rainy drive in Ecuador, Torres and his crew stumbled upon a large earthworm slowly crossing the road. At roughly 4 feet long, the massive worm (a member of the genus Martiodrilus) is not uncommon in the Amazon. In fact, some of its relatives grow to be 7 feet from end to end.
"If you feel the underside of it, beyond being slimy, there are actually these little bristles called setae that stick out and help it dig," he explains in the clip.
While the type of earthworm that Torres discovered is certainly bigger than the average garden worm, it isn't the biggest in the land. In 2014, Project Noah, a site that highlights the work of citizen scientists, captured a much larger, much thicker Martiodrilus earthworm that weighed in at over a pound. And over in Australia, giant Gippsland earthworms—which can grow to be 9 feet long—slither around a 150-mile area in the southeastern region of the country. Learn more about extraordinary earthworms in the video above.
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