Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water you discover Bobbit worms… and realise you can’t wait to dive in and see these fierce wee beasties in action!

Bobbit worms (Eunice aphroditois) are polychaetes; not your average worm-they have a shell protecting their body. Polychaete’s are amazing! One specimen was observed at Challenger Deep, the deepest part of all the oceans!

The Bobbit worm is highly predatory. Armed with sharp teeth, it is known to attack with such speeds that its prey is sometimes sliced in half. Although the worm hunts for food, it is omnivorous. It is also covered in bristles that are capable of a sting that results in permanent numbness in humans. This organism buries its long body into an ocean bed composed of gravel, mud or corals, where it waits patiently for something delicious to swim by and tickle its ‘whiskers’.

Little is known about the sexual habits and life span of this worm (that’ll be the ‘permanent numbness’ deterrent; off to the too hard basket for these critters!) but they grow enormously long. Maxing out at a brilliantly horrifying 3 metres, the average specimen is usually a still-scary 1 metre. A long lifespan may account for their great size.

For more action shots, including some very nice close-ups of the Bobbit’s jaws and stunningly beautiful iridescent shell check out this great video- apparently octopus can just shrug these guys off!: http://vimeo.com/28280553

 

Source: gif-unknown, Wikipedia

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