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Red Creature Staining Carpet is a Bloody Mystery

A woman in the United Kingdom has written to us with a rather odd query. She has found something that may be a larva in her flat (apartment). The little critter is about 1/2" (~13mm) long and seems to be leaking red liquid. In fact, it has stained our reader’s carpet. She would like us to tell her what it might be. She has attached the following picture:It is difficult to tell from the photograph what sort of critter this might be. However, there are very few worms or larva that ooze any kind of blood or other red liquid. Our blood is red because it contains hemoglobin. According to the UCSB ScienceLine website: Hemoglobin is a protein that forms a complex with iron molecules and together they transport oxygen molecules throughout the body. Iron has the property of reflecting red Continue reading [...]

Worm Found in Toilet is Harmless Earthworm

Today, we are going to address concern from a woman who found this creature in her toilet:She was kind enough to send a video. For obvious reasons, she was quite creeped out. Her main concern is that it may have come from one of her kids.Though we are not doctors, and cannot be absolutely certain that this did not come from one of her children, we’re pretty sure it didn’t. As always, if she is at all concerned that she or one of her children may be ill, we urge her to consult a doctor. But, to us, this looks like a typical, run-of-the-mill earthworm. It is not harmful to her, her children, her pets, or her plumbing.How would such a worm end up in a toilet, one may ask? Well, we can think of several ways. The most likely is that the poor little fellow got tracked in somehow, Continue reading [...]

Earthworms are Quite Happy Underwater

We received a question from a reader who would like to know how much time a worm can spend underwater before drowning. The short answer is that, so long as the water has a high enough concentration of oxygen, most worms can live quite happily under water. When the soil that an earthworm is living in becomes very wet, it may choose to come to the surface to move around. It’s a lot easier to move on the surface of the ground than it is to slog through mud.The term “worm” is rather vague, but we will assume that she is referring to the common earthworm. One of the many benefits to being an earthworm is that earthworms cannot drown (because they have no lungs). Instead of breathing, earthworms actually absorb oxygen through their skin via diffusion.  So, if the earthworm’s skin is Continue reading [...]
earthworm in dirt

Skinny Worm on Rosemany Plant

A reader found a "brown, skinny, and long" organism on her indoor rosemary plant. Without knowing the species our reader found, we cannot define it as harmless or not harmless. Continue reading [...]
Worm in the Shower

Canadian Worms Can Take A Shower Too

One of our Canadian readers' two-year-old son and her husband had just finished up a shower when they found this worm in the tub. They'd had a shallow bath at one point, after which her husband had taken the shower head down and thoroughly sprayed down the tub, walls, etc. and there was nothing in the tub at that point. After they were done and ready to get out, this was crawling in the bottom of the tub at the opposite end from the drain. From what we're provided, it appears to be an annelid, perhaps a bloodworm but likely an earthworm that rode in on one of the bathers or perhaps found its way into the tub when Dad pulled the shower head out of the wall mount to spray the surround clean.No object or measurement has been included to determine scale but we will estimate this creature Continue reading [...]

Earthworm Found in Bathtub

One of our readers found an earthworm in her bathtub. We don't think it is necessary for her to take her children to the doctor to be tested for parasites since earthworms aren't harmful to humans or pets. Continue reading [...]
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