Today in "Monsters are Real" news

Giant Sea Worm Unmasked as Coral Killer
Aquarists at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay have discovered the identity of a mysterious killer that had been devastating their coral reef display over recent months. Staff at the award-winning attraction had been puzzled by violent attacks on their fragile living reefs - in some cases the corals had been literally cut in half.

After staking out the display for several weeks, aquarists decided as a last resort to take it apart rock by rock. Halfway through the process the terrifying perpetrator was finally revealed - a monstrous four-foot-long giant reef worm.

"It really does look like something out of a horror movie! It's over four feet long with these bizarre-looking jaws. Having done some research we also discovered that it is covered with thousands of bristles which are capable of inflicting a sting resulting in permanent numbness'."

Matt believes it probably arrived as a juvenile in a delivery of living rock from another aquarium.

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40 Responses:

  1. mooflyfoof says:

    AAAUGHHH!! I'm not normally squeamish, but I'm SO not ok with that. I wonder how many legs it has. Probably thousands. :(

    This story reminds me of when my ex and I had to tear apart his saltwater reef tank to find the mantis shrimp who hitched a ride in on the live rock. He was killing everything and breaking all the rock (we could hear him banging away at night). We had to take every piece of rock and every fish out and chase him around for like an hour before we finally caught him. It was a damn shame, too -- those things are really awesome and pretty. But sooooo destructive.

    • mooflyfoof says:

      WTF, they named him Barry?!

    • edlang says:

      It was reckless and irresponsible of you not to include a link to a video of a mantis shrimp in action.

      • mooflyfoof says:

        Poor crabby :( I couldn't watch it through!

      • ekesobriquet says:

        I agree with the mantis shrimp, crab and shrimp are tasty.

        • jwz says:

          I have eaten mantis shrimp nigiri. It doesn't taste like shrimp; it's tough like octopus.

          • ekesobriquet says:

            Interesting. What does it taste similar to?

            The worst thing I've eaten by way of sushi was sea urchin. It reminded me most of when you're taking a medicine tablet and it dissolves a little on your tongue.
            I could eat buffet trays of bbq eel though.

            • Mmm, uni, my favorite. If you don't like that, never try ankimo either. It is far too delicious for you.

              • ekesobriquet says:

                It was bitter but also had the metallic taste that I taste in mango, papaya, guava, squash, zucchini, bell pepper, and perhaps other things I'm not thinking of. They all taste metallic to me.

                • luserspaz says:

                  That's fascinating. I wonder if there's scientific research in that area? Clearly you must have some genetic variation that causes you to taste some common factor in those foods differently. I keep meaning to look up research about cilantro, since it tastes like pain to me, and I've heard others say that as well, but it's clearly not universal.

                  • ekesobriquet says:

                    Cilantro is one of the few leafy garnishes that I can eat a lot of.
                    Taste is a weird thing. One of my hobbies is training myself to like more and more things. But the aforementioned are in my list of things I can't seem to get over. I have disliked the taste of some things that turned out to be bad for me. I wonder if some of taste is our body telling us what we do and don't need in our individual diets.

                  • marapfhile says:

                    seconded--i can't stand cilantro, and find its spread over the last ten years from mexican to, well, everything, infuriating.

    • giantlaser says:

      Worms don't have legs. Those things on the sides are bristles.

    • volkris says:

      WHERE'S YOUR GOD NOW?

  2. You're totally trying to give me nightmares.

  3. maniclemming says:

    PERMANENT numbness? Like if you got it in the genitals you'd be bored for life? Fuck that.

  4. crasch says:

    Can't wait for the giant reef worm porn.

  5. whittles says:

    just before I read this post, I was reading this one
    http://community.livejournal.com/wtf_nature/411388.html?style=mine#cutid1

    different, but either way, OMGWTFBBQ.

  6. perligata says:

    OH MY CHRISTING FUCK.

  7. tisiphone says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhshit! *runs*

  8. lnghnds says:

    Having done some research we also discovered that it is covered with thousands of bristles which are capable of inflicting a sting resulting in permanent numbness

    I wonder if "having done some research" in this case means trying to pick it up and then discovering you can't feel your hand.

    • pikuorguk says:

      That's my theory too...

      "Yeah the work experience kid we sent into collect it reports his hands are still numb after touching the big worm thing."

      And no, I don't think this qualifies for tentacle porn.

    • flipzagging says:

      They were just embarrassed to say they got it from Wikipedia.

  9. ladykalessia says:

    Ugh, thanks. New item for my nightmares. D:

  10. hexapod says:

    see also the scary pic at Giant reef worm

    especially

    • pikuorguk says:

      "But it is listed among the dangerous animals on our shores as it can give a nasty bite. So do leave the worm alone."

      Please refrain from playing with the stinging numbness worm, for your own safety.

  11. damn that's cool.

  12. elena says:

    I officially had a drink come through my nose at this. You win.

  13. hairyears says:

    Oh my! I think it'll make a lovely pet: just the thing for the moat around my secret laboratory.

  14. greyhame says:

    Has anyone notified Dr. Benway?

    • discogravy says:

      the worm is Dr Benway.

      • dohmnaill says:

        'Gentlemen, the human nervous system can be reduced to a compact and abbreviated spinal column. The brain, front, middle and rear must follow the adenoid, the wisdom tooth, the appendix... I give you my Master Work: The Complete All American Deanxietized Man...'

        The Man wriggles... His flesh turns to viscid, transparent jelly that drifts away in green mist, unveiling a monster black centipede. Waves of unknown stench fill the room, searing the lungs, grabbing the stomach...
        Schafer wrings his hands sobbing: 'Clarence!! How can you do this to me?? Ingrates!! Every one of them ingrates!!'
        The Conferents start back muttering in dismay:
        'I'm afraid Schafer has gone a bit too far...'
        'I sounded a word of warning...'
        'Brilliant chap Schafer... but...'
        'Man will do anything for publicity...'
        'Gentlemen, this unspeakable and in every sense illegitimate child of Doctor Schafer's perverted brain must not see the light... Our duty to the human race is clear...'
        'We must stomp out the Un-American crittah," says a fat, frog-faced Southern doctor who has been drinking corn out of a mason jar. He advances drunkenly, then halts, appalled by the formidable size and menacing aspect of the centipede...

  15. ekesobriquet says:

    Ah, new and interesting life. Now...KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!11

  16. msjen says:

    "Unmasked"???