17 Terrifying Worms and Parasites

1 year ago
From bizarre, terrifying parasites on land; to strange worms and creatures in the seas; Here are 17 terrifying worms and parasites

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#6 Horsehair Worms (thumb?)
These creatures can reach some pretty scary lengths … around 2 meters (6.5 feet) long and 3 millimeters in diameter. And they grow so long, they can literally tie themselves into knots … it’s one reason why they’re also called Gordian Worms, after the legendary Gordian Knot. They’re often found in wet areas, like streams, swimming pools and puddles. The larvae are parasitic, and will feed off of beetles, cockroaches and mantids, among other insects. Did you know that after inhabiting the host, the worm eventually explodes outwards, not unlike the Xenomorph in “Alien”. It can look like a long strand of spaghetti curling out of the victim.

#5 King Ragworm
These worms are also called sandworms, but not because of any connection to “Dune”. It’s due to their habit of burrowing into the wet sand and mud. They can exceed 4 feet in length … and have external gills along the sides of their bodies that serve as a means of transport. The gills are said to appear like tiny legs. And while they’re often commercially grown for use as live sea bait, humans need to be careful around them. The Ragworm’s blue head has strong pincer teeth that can bite!

#4 Pig Butt Worm
This marine creature seems to have a shape like no other, at least going by the picture. It could be an inflated balloon, or maybe a float being displayed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ... although, what would it represent? The critter is known as the pig butt worm, and we’ll leave you to connect the dots regarding its name. Did you know it’s only about the size of a hazelnut?

#3 Spoon Worms
These creatures are a form of marine life … even though they look more like a form extraterrestrial life. More than 200 species have been described. They’re identified by their cylindrical shape … for their large proboscis, which has a spoon shape, hence the name. Did you know that in some countries the worm is commonly eaten raw, or used as stir fry with vegetables? After you.

#2 Bobbit Worms
Earlier, we mentioned that Ragworms had no connection to “Dune”. But these big marine creatures might have a little more in common with those monster sandworms from the sci-fi classic … at least in terms of their size. Bobbit Worms aren’t as big as the ones in “Dune” … but at more than 10 feet long, they’re still some massive creatures. These are some fearsome ambush predators that like to bury themselves in the ocean bed and lurk among the mud and corals. Their toxic bristles can impart severe skin irritation upon contact. But the bristles also serve as a means to detect prey arriving in the vicinity. The worms attack quickly, and use their scary sharp teeth to cut its victim in half

(HM - Worm lookalikes)
Our number one selection is just ahead … first here’s a couple of honorable mentions. We found a few critters that look so much like worms, that they could fool you. But they’re actually completely different species.

Caecilians definitely look like worms, but they really belongs to a group of amphibians that have no limbs. They live hidden in the ground, which is unusual for amphibians … because of that, there’s still a lot that’s unknown about them. Larger species of these critters can grow more than 4 feet long, making them resemble snakes!

Some other creatures, like Legless Lizards, resemble worms or snakes as well. In this case, the resemblance to snakes is more understandable, since they’re reptiles. Over time, their limbs have either been reduced or lost altogether … making them useless in the animal’s locomotion. Unlike snakes they have physical characteristics like eyelids that set them apart. They can look a lot like worms, too. The California Legless Lizard grows to around 7 inches and can have a wormlike appearance … from a distance, anyway.

Ascarid Worms
These giant roundworms can grow up to 14 inches long, and can invade humans through consumption of contaminated food or water that carries their eggs. The eggs will hatch in the intestines, where juveniles mature. Sometimes the worms are so plentiful that they get tangled up and completely block the intestine … which is what the picture illustrates. In those cases, the parasites have to be surgically removed. Experts estimate at least one-sixth of the world’s population is infected with these worms.

17 Terrifying Worms and Parasites

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