(ORDO NEWS) — In Christchurch, New Zealand, nine-year-old Barnaby was playing outside his house when he came across a giant earthworm.
It is not unusual for a child from these parts to find a worm in the backyard, but this specimen was so huge that it aroused the admiration of the child.
“I grabbed him with a stick. I thought what an amazing discovery. I thought it was a worm, but I had no idea what it was,” Barnaby said.
His mother Jo believes the creature was about a meter long. She called the worm “a creature from nightmares”, but Barnaby was delighted.
Barnaby said he enjoys learning about “weird animals”. He described the worm as cold and soft.
“He was huge, amazing and a little disgusting,” he said.
After the boy’s dad Chris took a picture of Barnaby with the worm, they brought him back to the garden.
John Marris, curator of the research entomological collection at Lincoln University, said that although the worm in the photo “looks a little like a creature from the black lagoon,” it turned out to be a species of local earthworm.
Giant earthworms were once widespread, Marris said, but are now likely to be found only in untouched areas. The scientist added that a thorough study would be required to accurately identify the discovered specimen.
According to the Encyclopedia of New Zealand (Te Ara), several native New Zealand species can reach over 30 cm in length, and the longest, Spenceriella gigantea, can reach 1.3 m in length.
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