“I found this in my sink,” states this reader in her submission concerning the objects that look like bunches of wet hair photographed below. “Can you identify it?” she asks.
That is indeed a good question. The short answer is no, we will not be able to identify it. As far as the pictures tell us, these really are just bunches of hair that have resurfaced from the sink. There is nothing else in these photos that distinguish these as live organisms. We might have been able to make a more educated guess with more context, but alas, our reader does not provide any besides the fact that she found these in her sink.
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The long answer is that, as far as hair-like organisms are concerned, the first thing that always comes to mind is horsehair worm. These creatures are aquatic parasites which infect insects and burst out of them when fully-grown, killing the host in the process.
People have found them in their bathrooms before, probably because an infected insect went there and died when the horsehair worm came out. However, they do not tend to be found in bunches like these, so we doubt that these are horsehair worms.
What we recommend that our reader do is take samples of these worms to her local county extension office to get a second opinion. There, someone will be able to physically examine the organisms, which will give them a better chance at identifying them.
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Likewise, if our reader wants us to have another go at identifying the organisms, she is welcome to send more pictures and especially more context. Questions our reader could answer that might help us identify them include: How do the creatures move? Do all the ‘strands’ move as one, or does each strand move by itself? Do the creatures seem to walk, wiggle, or glide across the surface? Do they have any visible legs? Any visible eyes, segments or a mouth? Any other information is also welcome and encouraged. These are also answers that would be helpful to someone studying the worms at a local county extension office.
In conclusion, we do not know what these organisms are, and we apologize for not being able to provide more concrete answers. We hope nonetheless that our reader got something out of this article, and we wish her the best.