By Ashleigh / Aug 26, 2022
Something Was Wrong
The owner of the fish tank knew that something was wrong. Something had been eating his coral, but after two years of trying to figure out what it was, he still had no idea who or what the culprit was.
One day, he decided that it was best to take the aquarium apart. That was when he first caught sight of the creature that was responsible for eating his coral. As soon as he spotted it, his eyes grew wide. He couldn’t believe what he was looking at, it was practically a monster!
The man that owned the fishtank was a social media user known as ‘gurutek’, and in August of 2012, he uploaded an interesting and astonishing video on YouTube.
Gurutek was a tropical fish enthusiast, which is why he had a variety of exotic marine life in one of his large fish tanks. But one day, the YouTuber decided to share a true horror story about something lurking in his tank.
Long before he had even considered making the video, gurutek was aware that something wasn’t right inside of his tank, or at least with the contents of the tank.
He first grew suspicious when he noticed an unusual phenomenon that none of the fish within could have been responsible for: specifically, the coral in the tank was going missing.
Gurutek knew his stuff when it came to his fish tank, so he knew when there was an unwanted presence in the tank. He noticed that the coral was absent but that it also disappeared rapidly.
“[I] only noticed because I had whole coral colonies missing after a single evening,” gurutek subsequently wrote on his YouTube channel.
Gurutek was determined to identify what the uninvited guest could be, so he decided to stage an old-fashioned stakeout.
“I first saw it after I spent a few nights [sitting] up [after lights went out],” gurutek told his viewers in his comments of his video. “[I waited] for about three hours per night looking for the critter.”
Spotting The Creature
When Gurutek first spotted the mysterious creature, he was beyond surprised at what he saw. He couldn’t believe his eyes!
But why was he so surprised? Well, it turned out that the creature was none other than a Bobbit worm, and it was quite far from its usual home! You can usually find Bobbit worms in warm oceans where they are buried in the seabed. So why was this one in gurutek’s tank?
Feeding On The Contents
Gurutek was confused. Somehow, one of these creatures hitchhiked a ride into his fish tank and they started feeding on its contents!
Now gurutek knew about the worm’s presence, but it remained elusive. Gurutek was also surprised to learn that the worm seemed entrenched in its new home, which meant that simply removing the intruder was not an option.
He Hardly Saw It
“I only ever saw it three times within the space of a year,” gurutek told his subscribers on YouTube.
“It [hid] in the rocks, and only [came] out at night. [It was] impossible to catch without taking everything out the tank.” And eventually, that’s exactly what he did.
It was 2012 when gurutek decided to deconstruct the tank with the intention of moving it to a new location.
It’s not really clear how it happened, but somehow the Bobbit worm’s tail was severed while he was moving the tank. But despite this, it did little to diminish its huge size, however.
Its True Size
Then, when the worm was finally unearthed from its hiding place in the aquarium, he discovered its true size. Gurutek estimated that the creature measured up at almost four feet long.
He invited his friends over and they subsequently watched the huge Bobbit worm in amazement; they were particularly struck by its “tail.”
That may have been because the severed lower half of the worm was still floating in the tank and was even wiggling around independently.
And, as it turned out, YouTube users were also fascinated by the sight of the Bobbit worm; to date, gurutek’s video has received almost eight million views.
Yet while one person in the footage suggested that they dry and frame the worm – hopefully in jest – viewers of the clip had other ideas.
In fact, many of them wanted to be nowhere near the beast. “That thing’s terrifying,” one YouTube commenter wrote. “How do you miss something like that?”
Others, meanwhile, thought that the Bobbit worm was so big that they likened it to an end-of-level video game boss.
“That worm deserves a health bar,” one YouTube user joked. But you might be asking yourself whether the creature was actually that big compared to its sea-dwelling brethren.
Well, the Bobbit worm – or Eunice aphroditois, to use its scientific name – can grow much bigger than gurutek’s intruder did.
Indeed, the size of the worm in his aquarium was only slightly above average for the species, as there have been recorded specimens that have reached lengths of around ten feet.
And it’s not surprising that gurutek didn’t notice the worm, considering the fact that the unusual-looking creatures typically lie buried until they spot prey.
Bobbit worms use their head-mounted antennae to detect movement, and when they do, they strike viciously.
What is surprising, though, is that gurutek had any fish left, as Bobbit worms’ razor-sharp teeth have even been known to strike prey at speeds fast enough to cut fish clean in half.
And not only are the worms fast and deadly, but larger sea-dwelling creatures may also fall victim to their toxins. So even if they’re not killed outright, targets may still be left helpless.
How It Got There
However, if gurutek has any ideas as to how the Bobbit worm even got into his aquarium, he hasn’t mentioned them. Still, a clue may come from the species’ mating habits.
Specifically, Bobbit worms are known to be broadcast spawners; this means that when a female lays her eggs, they are fertilized externally.
So, perhaps a fertilized Bobbit worm egg was accidentally transferred with one of the fish and hatched in the aquarium.
Whatever the reason for the intruder in gurutek’s tank, however, it hadn’t been the first time that one of these worms has made a surprise appearance. A similar incident happened in March 2009, in fact.
Evidence of Attacks
Indeed, staff at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Cornwall, England, found damaged coral and evidence of fish attacks, too. And as with gurutek, they subsequently uncovered the worm – which they named “Barry” – when the tank display was being dismantled.
What’s more, yet another Bobbit worm was discovered at another English aquarium, Maidenhead Aquatics, in October 2013.
The fate of gurutek’s Bobbit worm, however, is unclear; hopefully, though, it was donated to a sea life center.
After all, although not everyone appreciates these potentially destructive worms, they are certainly fascinating. And any opportunity to learn new things about unusual creatures should surely be embraced. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.