‘Hammerhead Worm-looking’ Creatures in Tub Could be Immature Aquatic Worms

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“These tiny worms have been found in the bathtub of our new house after showering”, writes Lucy about the worm-like critter pictured below. “A few at a time, we picked it up with a tissue and put it in the toilet so you could see it move. Please help!” Based on the photo alone, which actually captures the worm in good detail, we would say this looks like a hammerhead worm. However, when we take Lucy’s context into account, we begin to wonder what it could actually be. It is odd (but not impossible) that these hammerhead worms were found in a bathtub; hammerhead worms are terrestrial worms, meaning they live on land, and would not survive underwater like other species of flatworms.

With that said, it is still possible that these are hammerhead worms that ended up in Lucy’s bathtub without entering her home through the pipes. Perhaps they wandered into the home and then accidentally ended up in the bathtub. Of course, this is probably very implausible, considering that Lucy implies that she has been consistently finding multiple worms in the tub on different occasions. It would have been really helpful to know how many worms she was finding at a time. In any case, what it sounds like to us is that a mother hammerhead worms laid her eggs in or near the drain of the bathtub and now they have all hatched: that’s the only thing that would explain the number of hammerheads. But that still doesn’t make sense! The eggs would surely have washed away when the tap was run.

So, despite the hammerhead shape of this worm’s head, we have to ultimately conclude that these are not hammerhead worms. On top of that, the way the worm moves in the video is not indicative of a hammerhead. While this worm pokes its head up to ‘look around’ before it inches forward a bit at a time, hammerhead worms have a more graceful, snakelike slither. Additionally, it could just be us that is mistaking the head shape as hammerhead-like. Besides, maybe this worm’s brethren do not have heads shaped like this: maybe this one worm was disfigured somehow, or is an anomaly. In this situation, it would also have been helpful to have photos of the other worms.

Video of Worm

Now we’re back to square one. What is this thing? Our best guess is that these are immature aquatic worms of some kind (or at least worms that can survive in low oxygen conditions). Given how many show up at a time, we think a worm that can survive in sewage systems laid a bunch of eggs inside the drain (which were lain in something that could withstand the water pressure when the faucet is run), and that those eggs recently hatched, sending all of these worms up through the drain and into Lucy’s tub. We recommend that she clean her drain, paying particular attention to scrubbing out the organic film that typically forms in the lip of the drain. In general, keeping one’s drains consistently cleaned will prevent all sorts of bugs from being attracted to your bathroom.

In conclusion, we are not quite sure what Lucy has been finding in her tub. They sure look like hammerhead worms, but the context doesn’t fit their physical description, so we have had to admit defeat in this case. We hope nonetheless that we helped to some degree, and we wish Lucy the best!

 

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'Hammerhead Worm-looking' Creatures in Tub Could be Immature Aquatic Worms
Article Name
'Hammerhead Worm-looking' Creatures in Tub Could be Immature Aquatic Worms
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"These tiny worms have been found in the bathtub of our new house after showering", writes Lucy about the worm-like critter pictured below. "A few at a time, we picked it up with a tissue and put it in the toilet so you could see it move. Please help!" Based on the photo alone, which actually captures the worm in good detail, we would say this looks like a hammerhead worm. However, when we take Lucy's context into account, we begin to wonder what it could actually be. It is odd (but not impossible) that these hammerhead worms were found in a bathtub; hammerhead worms are terrestrial worms, meaning they live on land, and would not survive underwater like other species of flatworms.
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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