Quick, someone call Kevin Bacon to tell him about his next Tremors co-star.
The worm you see above is allegedly 1.5 meters in length—or nearly 5 feet long. It weighs over 500 grams; that’s more than one pound of wriggly, chewy worm for your delectation.
Project Noah is a site that encourages “citizen scientists” to submit photos, coordinates, and as much information as possible about interesting organisms that they see. User hoppy4840 lit the Internet on fire when he recently uploaded these photos. In the description, he says that he found it in the foothills of the Sumaco Volcano in Ecuador in 2009.
Meanwhile, Australia’s like, “we already have the endangered Giant Gippsland Earthworm, kthx.” And the great Internet battle cry of “IT’S BEEN ‘SHOPPED!” has already invaded threads on Project Noah’s Facebook page. And we probably don’t have to tell you about all the “we’re going to need a bigger fish” jokes.
We don’t know if the photos are real, but if they are—and if this worm’s still alive—there are still some important things to consider before you squirt it with Sriracha and start eating worm tartare with your friends.
Apparently, while farmed earthworms are safe to eat, Business Insider reports that wild worms can host some terrifying parasites that can seriously wreck your shit if you eat them raw. As a further example, a 16-year-old girl ate an earthworm on a dare and developed into a fascinating case study published in a 2006 issue of Pediatrics.
Entomophagy (eating insects and arachnids as food) is pretty widespread elsewhere in the world, and is just starting to gain recognition in North America as a valid nutrient choice. Resources like Entomophagy.com and even the New York Times have explored the topic in recent years.
But, you know, maybe cook it first? As Invasivore.org notes, just breading and deep-frying some earthworms is pretty good. We bet there was a time when you never thought you’d eat eel, either, but plenty of great Japanese food has shown us that unagi is delicious.