Thursday, July 02, 2009
"Unknown Lifeform in North Carolina Sewer!" the latest viral video to hit the intertubes sounds like the title of a B-movie (you can read the initial account here) but Gizmodo, the gadget blog, finally posted a report about the findings as released by DeepSeaNews.com who sent the video to Dr. Timothy S. Wood (an expert on freshwater bryozoa and an officer with the International Bryozoology Association) who had this to say, to quell the panic:
Thanks for the video – I had not see it before. No, these are not bryozoans! They are clumps of annelid worms, almost certainly tubificids (Naididae, probably genus Tubifex). Normally these occur in soil and sediment, especially at the bottom and edges of polluted streams. In the photo they have apparently entered a pipeline somehow, and in the absence of soil they are coiling around each other. The contractions you see are the result of a single worm contracting and then stimulating all the others to do the same almost simultaneously, so it looks like a single big muscle contracting. Interesting video.
Ok, so they're Tubifex worms (said to inhabit organically polluted waters). But what if it's a ruse? What if it's really one growing mass of unknown lifeform that escaped the government's clutches? When will we start calling Mulder and Scully?!