We just received a question from a reader in Australia. He found an interesting creature on a bush walk (which is a hike) and wants to know what it is. He said it is quite thin and about 10 cm long, slightly resembles a snake, but doesn’t have a typical snakehead. Also, it looks rainbow colored in certain light, and is harder than any worm he’s felt before. He wonders if this could be a blind snake.
The picture that accompanied his post shows a very thin, long, white worm-like organism. There are some distractions in the photo, which make it difficult to determine if the creature is on land or in water.
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There is the possibility that this is a blind snake, but we doubt it. Most blind snakes have a thicker body than the snake our reader found, and they are nocturnal and rarely seen. So what could this be?
We believe that this creature could be a Nematomorpha, which are more commonly known as Gordian worms or Horsehair worms. Horsehair worms range in size, but most are about 1 mm in diameter and can grow up to 100 cm long. These worms are found all over the world, often in aquatic settings. While a horsehair worm could be a fit for our reader’s discovery, we aren’t sure how the “rainbow color” or “hardness” fit into the equation.
In summary, one of our readers came across a thin worm while hiking in the Blue Mountains of Northwest Australia. We have a hunch that he found a horsehair worm.
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