Invasive Foot-Long Worm That Is 'Essentially Immortal' Found In Virginia


A local pest control company in Virginia was confused when they received a report about a foot-long snake from a resident in the town Midlothian. Virginia Wildlife Management and Control went to check out the report and could not identify the snake.

"We identify thousands of snakes every year ... but the problem is, we've never seen anything like it before, and we're not sure if it's a freak of nature," the company wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post. "So, if anyone has any idea what it is, please feel free to comment. It was described as being around 10-12 inches long."

It turns out, the "snake" was actually an invasive species of worm. After doing some research, the company said they identified the worm as a "terrestrial flatworm," which is also known as a hammerhead worm.

The invasive species came over decades ago from Asia and have been spotted in multiple states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and the Carolinas. Hammerhead worms eat earthworms and other organisms in the soil and have been known to cannibalize themselves. They are extremely difficult to kill, with one commenter saying they are "essentially immortal." According to LiveSciencethe worms are capable of regenerating, so cutting them into pieces won't kill them.

"Cutting them creates two instead of killing the one," one commenter said, according to the Charlotte Observer.

While the species is considered invasive, it does not pose a threat to humans or pets. Virginia Wildlife Management and Control said they decided to leave the worm alone.

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