This 'Sea Worm' Is Making People Feel Very Uncomfortable
As a freediver, Josie Jones has spent a lot of time in the waters around Australia and has met plenty of fascinating sea creatures. But, recently, one odd-looking animal made her do a double-take when he wriggled out of the sand near Rye Front Beach in Victoria.
It appeared to be a type of sea worm, but with a distinctly not-safe-for-work shape that Jones thought was a little rude.
Jones snapped a few pictures of the little guy and posted them to a marine research Facebook group. Her post left quite an impression on the scientific community — and beyond.
“It seems to bring a lot of happiness,” Jones wrote on Facebook.
The creature, known as Priapulida, which basically translates to “penis worm,” is fairly common — living in sandy or muddy ocean floors all over the world. Larger ones, which can grow to be an impressive 8 inches, tend to live in colder waters, while smaller ones live in shallow tropical waters.
They’ve been around so long that they’re considered living fossils and even got their name from Priapos, the Greek god of fertility and male virility.
While the sea worms don’t have eyes or ears, they seem to be aware of Jones whenever she's nearby. “I’ve seen them in the water several times in differing states, but each time they are aware something is near them," Jones wrote. "Clever little dicks.”
“They start to turn towards me,” she added. “I find they’re like jellyfish, they know you’re there.”
Jones’ photos of the penis worm have since gone viral on Facebook, leading to plenty of naughty jokes. Jones is just happy she shared a little joy with the world — and made people more aware of these incredible animals.
"I really enjoy documenting the marine species in my area and watching the reefs thrive," Jones wrote.