As far back as the 19th Century, there have been reports on the continent of Australia of what at the time was considered a then-unknown species of snake. Only this species had those who discovered it stumped, as it had no scales on its skin. After having professionals look the specimen over, it only made sense there were no scales present as the discovery was indeed not a snake—but a very rare, never before seen variety of giant earthworm.
That’s right—a giant earthworm.
The first known documentation of the giant earthworm was by railroad workers from a remote area of the Gippsland region in Victoria, Australia, thus its name giant Gippsland earthworm. As many may know, a standard earthworm might grow to the length of a persons hand, however, the giant Gippsland earthworm can grow up to 10 feet long, making it several feet longer than a normal person.
Even though the giant Gippsland earthworm is known to exist, the possibility of actually stumbling across one or seeing one with your own eyes is very unlikely. Unless driven from their tunnels, where they burrow up to five feet underground, they have no need to come to the surface.
Although the giant Gippsland earthworm is a pretty startling site, there is really no need to fear them. They are harmless and pose no known threat to humans.
Like normal earthworms, the giant Gippsland earthworms are hermaphroditic by nature, meaning that they have both male and female sex traits. One of the theories on why the giant earthworms are not seen more often is because of the difficulty scientists estimate they have in mating. With the small tunnels they live in, they have trouble getting side by side. It is speculated that they can thin their bodies out, so that they may achieve the necessary position to procreate. Also, the giant Gippsland earthworm lays eggs, that can take up to one year to hatch.
Natural is an amazing thing when you think of it, and we are learning more and more each and every day. The take away here is that we never know what exists right below the very ground we walk on day by day.