Nature is full of creepy creatures that make us shiver and the recent viral video of a nemertea, also known as a ribbon worm, is one of them.
The worm, with its bulging body and slimy texture, undulates across someone’s hand in the video, leaving many viewers feeling disturbed.
Just when it seems like it can’t get any worse, the worm shoots out a tree-like web across the person’s forearm, yet they remain unfazed.
The original video has garnered over 4.3 million views on Twitter, with many people expressing their disgust and fear.
What the hell is this? pic.twitter.com/VffwreTgip
— Creepy (@creepy_org) April 3, 2023
Ribbon worms are not a new discovery, as there are more than a thousand species of them around the world.
However, the more we learn about them, the creepier they seem to get…
The gooey white web that the worm shoots out is called a “proboscis,” and it uses it to capture prey such as mollusks and snails before dragging them into its mouth.
The web can also be used to fend off predators, as seen in the viral video.
According to Sebastian Kvist, a biologist and nemertea specialist, the worm is doing everything it can to get away from the situation it’s in, as it is very stressed.
Ribbon worms have a hydrostatic skeleton, which means they can fall apart without the ocean’s water pressure. However, this doesn’t seem to kill them. “We’re not sure if it’s able to regenerate or not, but it doesn’t seem to be fatal to the worm to break like that, which is really interesting,” Kvist said.
The fact that ribbon worms leave virtually no fossil record means we don’t know much about them.
“That becomes a very problematic thing for trying to establish how recent or how ancient these guys are,” Kvist explained. But we do know that ribbon worms are incredibly creepy and can make even the bravest of souls shudder.