A new strange creature just got its fifteen minutes of fame on the internet. It was filmed in the city of Hsinchu, in Taiwan, as it was crawling on some rocks. As reported by the Daily Mail, Huang Meilan, who filmed the video, said that she was "shocked" and "had never seen anything like it".
Indeed, if you look at the footage, you'll notice that the creature looks very strange. It appears to have a slender body, but many uncoordinated, tangled legs that form a kind of ball. The footage was posted on social networks, and Internet users were quick to react.
While some believe the creature is an alien or has suffered a genetic mutation, others were more down-to-earth and may have actually solved the mystery. It might just be a worm that got tangled up with something or several entangled worms.
An entangled nematomorph
This theory was confirmed by Ben Hanelt, a parasitologist at the University of New Mexico, who was interviewed by Earth Touch News. According to the expert, it is more precisely a nematomorph, a non-segmented worm whose body is generally cylindrical, extremely long and thin.
"The thickest part [which you can see in the video] is a hairworm. It seems to be wrapped up in something else – either man-made or plant material," said the scientist. If you look carefully, you can indeed see the worm's body moving, while the rest appears to follow its movements to get out of there.
While this animal may seem disturbing, it is harmless to humans. Nematomorphs are parasites that evolve in aqueous environments and complete their development in the body of arthropods such as locusts or cockroaches. A few years ago, someone filmed one of these parasites coming out of a praying mantis.