A reader just sent us a video of a specimen with the attached message: “Can you tell me what this is?”
The specimen is white, and so extremely thin that it resembles a white thread or piece of string. See for yourself:
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Based on the video, we think that our reader videotaped this specimen on her pants. However, we are uninformed of where this creature was found, if it was found alone, or how it was moving. These details would give us some useful answers, but we will do our best to solve this mystery without them!
Our first thought is that this could be an immature horsehair worm. Horsehair worms are parasitic to a range of arthropods, but aren’t harmful to mammals (like humans). They infect a host and then eject themselves when they sense they are near water. Therefore, they are often discovered in or near water! We don’t think our reader found this creature in water, and it has some characteristics that differentiate it from horsehair worm. So, we don’t think this is a likely match.
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Our second thought is that this is a threadworm, which is a tiny parasitic worm that lives in human intestines. They are most easily distinguished because they look like a piece of white thread. The appearance of the specimen in question matches this description to a tee, but we don’t want to confirm that this is a parasite without more information. If our reader believes this is a threadworm, she should consult a physician.
In conclusion, a reader sent us a video featuring a thin white worm wiggling around. The worm almost identically resembles a threadworm, but since we are not medical professionals we cannot confirm if this is a parasite or not.