Creature in Ice Cube Poses Many Questions, but Provides no Answers

We get a lot of questions about worms and worm-like creatures. Readers find these in their houses, their gardens, and even on their bodies (eek!). But today’s question is a little bit different: a creature in an ice cube!

worm in ice cube cropped

Our reader encountered this frozen fellow in an ice cube from a commercial ice dispenser. There is nothing in the photograph to give any sense of scale, so we’re not sure just how big the critter is, but we can guess it’s no more than 1.5” in length, assuming that is a very large ice cube.

worm in ice cube 2 cropped

Our reader would like to know 2 things: What kind of creature is this, and how did it get into an ice cube?

Typically, a photograph this clear would really help speed up our response. However, it’s taken us a while to get to publish a response to this question, primarily because this is definitely not a worm or a caterpillar! So what is it?

Our best guess (note, this is just a guess, as this is definitely outside any of our areas of expertise) is that this is some sort of undeveloped animal infant (like the kangaroo joey in the photo below) or perhaps a small water creature. It could even be an embryo of some sort.

A kangaroo joey in mother’s pouch. Photograph by Geoff Shaw (Zoology, University of Melbourne, Australia). (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A kangaroo joey in mother’s pouch. Photograph by Geoff Shaw (Zoology, University of Melbourne, Australia). (CC BY-SA 3.0)

By looking at the photograph embryonic table below, we can see that the creature in the photograph could have some resemblance to some sort of animal embryo, but a resemblance is the best we can claim.

embryonic table photos Richardson et al

Embryonic Table, Richardson et al 1998.

Though it is a bit less exotic, it’s actually quite possible that this is the larva of a creature such as the powder pest beetle.

Larva of the powder pest beetle (Sinoxylon anale). Photograph by Ken Walker, Museum Victoria (CC BY 3.0 au, via Wikimedia Commons)

Larva of the powder pest beetle (Sinoxylon anale). Photograph by Ken Walker, Museum Victoria (CC BY 3.0 au, via Wikimedia Commons)

Unfortunately, we’re going to have to cry uncle here, as we really have no idea what this creature is. Whatever it is, we can be quite sure it does not belong in an ice cube, and we have no idea how it might have gotten there. To us, it most resembles an embryonic possum but, realistically, there is no way that any such thing would end up in an ice cube. It is much more likely that this is some sort of beetle larva. But how and why would such a thing end up in a commercial ice maker? There are more mysteries on top of mysteries.

Perhaps some of our readers can help us identify this mystery creature. Does anyone have any thoughts what this mystery creature could be, or how it might end up in an ice cube? If so, please send us an email or let us know in the comments.

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Creature in Ice Cube Poses Many Questions, but Provides no Answers
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Creature in Ice Cube Poses Many Questions, but Provides no Answers
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We get a lot of questions about worms and worm-like creatures. Readers find these in their houses, their gardens, and even on their bodies (eek!). But today’s question is a little bit different: a creature in an ice cube!
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