This terrifying footage shot in Mount Kinabalu, Borneo will make you say, “Thank God, I’m a human and not a worm!” It would also make you feel quite glad that something that size has abandoned sucking the blood of humans. This giant red leech had been reported preying on a 70cm long blue worm that sucks it down like spaghetti.
The monstrous red leech, currently known as Mimobdella buettikoferi, was identified in the area in the late 19th century. However, the red leech is little understood. It is unclear whether the leech the BBC filmed is the same one or something that looks similar. It hasn’t even been properly classified by science, and it had certainly never been filmed hunting a giant worm. According to, series producer – Paul Bradshaw,
…(the red leech) hasn’t even been properly classified by science.”
I think the BBC footage is terrific and I am eagerly looking forward to the Monsoon series. I have often wanted to see this in action for myself. Williams and his team have made an important contribution to my field. It will be interesting to see if this is indeed a new species, or if we leech taxonomists got it wrong in the past. The leech is part of a numerous and globally distributed group (Erpobdelliformes), none of which feed on blood. Some live right here in Central Park, though their size is more typical of other leeches, so they feed on insect larvae, not on giant earthworms.”