"But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people."
What creature lives deep underground, has a dark purple head and a blue-grey body, can grow up to nine feet in length and sounds like a bathtub draining of water? It's the Giant Gippsland earthworm of Australia, of course!
As these incredible creatures make their way through the soil, they shorten in length and then stretch their body to as long as fourteen feet. Despite their size, it is very difficult to study these giant earthworms because they never come to the surface unless flushed out by heavy rains. They prefer to spend their lives deep underground where they won't be cut to pieces by farmers tilling the ground.
"Burrows that are occupied by giant Gippsland earthworms have very wet walls," said Beverley D. Van Praagh, a biologist who has studied the creatures for over 20 years. "When the earthworms move quickly within their burrows, it makes a gurgling sound that is quite loud and can be heard above ground. The sound is a bit like water draining out of a bath and has been known to terrify the uninitiated."
Though most of us look at such creatures with disgust, nothing that God has made is without purpose. Earthworms perform a very valuable service in making the soil fertile. Life on earth would not exist without the lowly earthworm! Eternal life, too, wouldn't exist were it not for Jesus, who is called a worm and was despised by the people He came to save.
Notes: Wired online, 3/28/14.
Photo: Courtesy of Beverley D. Van Praagh.
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