"Bobbit Worm" Cuts Prey In Half
Back in 1993 a woman by the name of Lorena Bobbit gained infamy after slicing off her husband's penis in a fit of anger. Years later the incident inspired a photographer to lend the name to Eunice aphroditois, a worm with hunting methods not unlike those employed by Mrs. Bobbit.
The Bobbit worm is one of those terrifying sea creatures that will make you think twice about going back into the ocean. While most of the worms grow to be about 3 feet in length, some grow up to about ten feet in length. The worm also possesses an iridescent, segmented body, and has scissor-like mandibles. Home for this giant worm is in the waters of the Indo-Pacific region and other warm waters around the world.
The creature spends most of its time buried in the ocean floor with just enough showing to wait for passing prey, with its five antennae, usually smaller worms and fish. The name Bobbit comes in when the worm's mandible slams shut around the catch, often with enough force to slice it in half. It then retreats back underground to feed. When prey is in short supply it will feed on nearby plants and scavenge around its burrow.
In 2009, a ten-foot long specimen was found inside one of the floats of a mooring raft in Japan's Seto Fishing Harbor. The raft had been in use for 13 years before the worm was discovered, so it is unknown when it may have taken up residence there, but due it its length, it had been cozy and comfortable there for some time. It was one of the largest specimens ever found. Despite its length, it weighed only about a pound.
Aquariums have been found to house the worms without knowing it until they grow large enough to make their presence known.
Humans who have strayed too close to those mandibles have suffered some fairly nasty bites.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger