This utterly terrifying worm has the ability to spit out an even more terrifying web-shaped goo!
What the hell is this creature?
According to reports, the animal he’s holding is a specie of marine ribbon worm. When threatened the animal is capable of secreting a large amount of mucus or a really gnarly looking substance to attack its prey.
The weapon of the ribbon worm, or Nemertea is a proboscis (elongated appendage) that the worm uses to snag and attach itself to its prey, which sometimes contains venom. Basically, that proboscis is like a muscle inside of the ribbon worm that can dart out when the body contracts to attack its prey, which the worm can swallow as a whole.
On the other hand, one Reddit user Exxocet, suggested that we’re looking at a specie called Gorgonorhynchus. He quotes J.F.G. Wheeler’s study, “The Discovery of the Nemertean Gorgonorhynchus and Its Bearing on Evolutionary Theory”, which tells:
The proboscis of the nemerteans usually consists of an introverted tube in a proboscis sheath, and it is everted like a finger of a glove that has been pulled “outside in”.
This new nemertean has also a proboscis which is branched. The branching is of the dichotomous type. During eversion, which takes place almost explosively, the short main trunk – first appears, then this divides and the finer and filter branches appear, but since each one of these is the result of an evagination the effect is almost indescribable. It is as if a large number of lively, wriggling, minute worms had been shot out.
EWWW! Whatever specie this maybe, it sure is totally gross! The way this creature stretches across that person’s hand just makes me want to never ever go outside again, especially under water.