“We found this clinging to the toilet bowl” begins this reader in his query about the “clear and jellylike” worm he discovered. According to our reader, this alien creature is approximately 1/2-inches long and is “almost completely clear”.
Firstly, we wish to thank our reader for this photo of excellent quality; one can easily make out every appendage on this worm-like creature, as well as its translucent color that our reader mentions. Secondly, we must note how unfamiliar this creature is to us. It truly looks like nothing we have ever seen before, and so we doubt whether or not we will be able to give a confident identification of the organism’s exact species. That said, we would presume that this is some type of bristle worm. The term ‘bristle worm’ refers to a variety of species of annelids (a phylum of segmented worms to which earthworms belong) that are typically aquatic (hence the appearance of the worm in our reader’s toilet) and have long bristle-like appendages extending from their bodies. In most cases, these bristles produce toxins and are a defense mechanism that the worms use when in contact with predators or prey.
For these reasons, we advise extreme caution to our reader if and when handling the worm. Of course, our reader will likely have to move the worm as we do not recommend flushing it back down (it could just resurface), nor do we recommend pouring any substance down the toilet that would kill it (as it does not pose any direct threat to human or animal health). What we do recommend is using a dustpan or something else that lets our reader pick up the worms without touching it, as well as gardening gloves for extra protection, and moving the worm to another location (preferably a body of water). However, if our reader is eager to get to the bottom of this creature’s identity, he could also put it in a separate container with water and take more pictures of it in better lighting and send them to us. Perhaps more details would be uncovered!
In conclusion, the creature our reader found in his toilet bowl is likely a bristle worm, though what species it belongs to we do not know. As we said, we recommend that our reader is cautious when moving the worm outside, and wish him the best of luck with this endeavor!
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