(Ecuador) – My friend Stephen Hopkins is forever playing pranks, so I laughed when I saw this image. “Clever use of perspective! You did a great job making a simple earthworm look like a monster worm!”
But wait; I examined the photos and pondered, “This isn’t a joke, is it? You truly found a worm that big? Tell me more!” Here’s Stephen’s story:
Hello friends of Lisa and fans of PlayaMart: Lisa has offered to help publicize my quest to identify a …. Ok it’s a WORM. (See picture.)
Here is my story. Office work really isn’t my thing. I like to get my hands and feet into the business of being alive. It was on one of my jungle jaunts that I had the opportunity to find and photograph an exceptionally large earthworm in the foothills of the Sumaco Volcano. The Parque Nacional Sumaco Napo-Galeras (Ecuador) is a pristine tropical rain forest that is a biotic wonder and bit off the beaten path. The place is worm heaven.
My guide and I waded up to our knees in mud and muck for the three hours it took to make it from the little outpost of Pacto Sumaco just to the edge of the national park. On the return slog we found the worm half hidden under a rotten log. He called it a “cuica” (Quechua Language) I called it amazing.
I just had to know more about this giant. Now one would think that an unusually large ~1.5 meter worm with the girth of a man’s forearm would be well catalogued in the dusty halls of Ecuador’s natural science centers. Well, apparently, not so much. I had a monster and mystery on my hands. I contacted the world’s worm experts (Wormologists?).
Some accused me of photo-shopping the picture Loch Ness style. (Squirmy is real, I swear.) The more open-minded have indicated that, yes indeed, it is a very large worm and possibly undescribed specie. Awesome.
I am trying to find a scientific name for my hermaphroditic friend… and, maybe a home. After all the Loch Ness has a castle. So spread the word and pass around Squirmy’s picture.
Stories, legends, mythology, pictures, artwork, superstitions, anecdotes, fantasies, and all manner of useful scientific information are welcome.
Stephen Hopkins SaveTheDamnPlanet
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Stephen divides his time between the USA, Costa Rica and Ecuador. )
OK Amigos! Lob this to anyone that might supply some feedback about the mystery worm! Creative writing geniuses, pen a fun story about this legendary creature!
Good luck, Stephen! I hope this helps! Z