A giant earthworm more than half a meter long was discovered in a residential complex in Binchuan Country, Yunnan Province in southwest China, shocking neighbors and intriguing scientists.
Li Zhiwei, a worker from the Forestry Bureau of Binchuan County, discovered the elongated worm in his gutter while he was in his backyard last Thursday, according to reports from CCTV.
"It looked like a snake; I looked carefully and found it was actually a huge earthworm," said Li, who stated that he had decided to keep the worm and raise it in his backyard.
Local reports indicate that news of the giant earthworm spread quickly in the nearby area and had brought people from all around the neighborhood who are curious to see such a long worm.
Scientist explained that earthworms can grow anywhere from between 10 millimeters to 3 meters long. Larger earthworms tend to be found in lush, humid areas with no natural enemies.
What has intrigued scientists so far is that fact that Zhiwei discovered the worm in an urban environment which for a worm is low in food and contains a myriad of obstacles.
An earthworm's body size is closely related to their environment, and size depends on variables like the weather, precipitation and the texture of the soil. They tend to grow longer and larger during humid seasons if they are able to eat enough.
The northwestern part of the Yunnan province, where the worm was found, is a mostly dry, hot, subtropical climate at its base, while the Yuan River Basin, located in the southern part of the province near the Laotian and Myanmar borders, is a more humid, subtropical climate.
Biologists plan to study the earthworm that Zhiwei found and to be able to determine its classification and try to figure out how it was able to grow so big.