Giant Gippsland Earthworm

About The Giant Gippsland Earthworm

“Nobody likes me everybody hates me I think I’ll go and eat some worms.”

My mum used to mockingly say this little saying to me when I was being a little annoying brat.

I imagine she would have been very upset if I actually did eat some worms but I think, mortified if I ate one of these suckers.

Today I want to discuss the Giant Gippsland Earthworm.  AKA…this guy:

Giant Gippsland Earthworm1

I first heard about these amazing animals on a BBC or Channel 4 documentary that I watched and was fascinated.

I couldn’t understand why I had never even heard of such a thing. Surely it is a school duty to teach children about the wonders of this world.

Obviously the creator of Tremors has heard of them and maybe even the creator of Beetlejuice.

The idea of these giant creatures burrowing underneath our feet is kind of creepy and I am sure to many, utterly terrifying.

Personally I love the idea of them churning up the soil and keeping things underground working as they should.

Ok, now the facts, including the important question… How big do they get?

  • Scientific name: Megascolides australis
  • Country / Region of origin: Australia, Gippsland in Victoria
  • Species: Earthworm
  • Weight and size: Now the bit you have been waiting for…. Average is around 80cm long with a 2cm diameter but it can grow up to an enormous 3meters.

(If you think anymore details should be here then just leave a comment and I will add find out and add it)

Australia has around 1000 types of earthworm and the Gippsland worm is the biggest of that kind with the biggest find being approximately 4 meters.

It must be an absolutely haunting thought for many people!

Sadly the minuscule little European counterpart has been introduced and now rules the roost.

They have a dark purple head and a pinkish grey body and live burrows of around 2 meters deep in moist clay areas either close to or under rivers and streams.

They are only found in a small region of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia and sadly due to many factors their numbers are on the decline.

Apparently if you stomp the ground you can hear gurgling which is made when they slide off through their tunnels as quick smart as they can.

The sound of their digging has also been compared to hearing a toilet flush!

I don’t know this for sure but I would imagine that their disturbing of the earth is a very good thing for the environment and it would be as hame to lose these critters, in some peoples eyes (like mine!), beautiful creatures.

Sadly these slippery critters are deemed vulnerable which means that they are threatened and numbers are rapidly declining.

Modern colonization and farming practices are taking a big toll, with herbicides and pesticides seeping into the soil and water being drained from the land.

Herds of animals are disturbing their habitat and even being handled by a human could kill them.

Even though they are earthworms they don’t have the ability to be chopped into several pieces and survive.

One cut on these poor things could lead to them bleeding to death.

Now let’s talk about the raunchy sex life of an average Gippsland Earthworm in an average Gippsland stream bank.

They mate around Spring and Summer laying egg sacs approximately 7cm long which take a year to hatch.

Daddy’s super sperm means that they hatch out at a size of 20cm and are ready to dig themselves through mud for the rest of their lives.

giant earth worm in bass

If you are out today doing the shopping or going to get the car cleaned and you just so happen to pass by Gippsland in Australia then maybe you should stop by the town of Bass.

Bass is the home of the Giant Gippsland Earthworm museum where you can go and find out pretty much everything about them.

Please don’t hate this animal because it’s basically a slimy worm of astronomical size.

People don’t hate sharks that much anymore and they are still eating the occasional person here and there. (well, sharks do get thrown into soup by bad people, so there’s that)

I don’t think you will find any records of an earthworm munching on corpse felled by it’s gruesome slaughter tactics and they keep the soil alive.

The fact that they are endangered and not many people know about them is sad.

Obviously this is a plea for links too but it would be great if you could spread the word about this or any endangered animals that you hear about.

4 thoughts on “About The Giant Gippsland Earthworm”

  1. I think driving by Bass to get my car washed and to see the Museum in Gippsland would be a little bit too much of a Sunday drive this week. LOL I enjoyed this article thanks for digging in and getting information on this amazing worm. It’s amazing that there are 1000 different types of earthworms. Creation sure is an awesome isn’t it. How could anyone not believe there is a God?

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