Anglers and kids love them; the rest of the world…not so much. Worms may be derided in art, science and religion, but fish can’t resist a red wiggler on a hook. Learn a bit more about worms, and you’ll love them, too.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Worms

Worms in Nature

  • Worms are one of the most common creatures on earth, living in both freshwater and saltwater, underground, underwater and even inside other living creatures.
  • Worms vary in size from microscopic to a record-holding ribbon worm, measuring a horrifying 180 feet, found in the North Sea. The longest earthworm measured a measly nine feet by comparison.
a person holding a handful of worms and earth
Worms may be derided in art, science and religion, but fish can’t resist them. | Feature photo: Sippakorn Yamkasikorn/Pexels
  • Instead of a brain, worms process basic information about their surroundings through nerve ganglia. They lack eyes but some can sense light with photoreceptors.
  • Some scientists believe worms can sense the earth’s magnetic field to navigate underground.
  • Many worms are hermaphrodites (both male and female). They can mate with another worm or reproduce asexually, growing a new worm from their own cells.

Worms in Culture

  • The word “worm” is derived from the Old English world “wurm” or “wyrm,” which referred to mythical serpents and other dragon-like creatures.
  • Anglers are credited with coining the phrase to “open a can of worms.” Before worms came in plastic containers, fishermen bough their bait in metal cans with lids that were tough to open, often causing the worms to spill out.
a dragon decoration hung over a street in France, originator of the word worm
“Worm” is derived from the Old English world “wurm” or “wyrm,” which referred to mythical serpents and other dragon-like creatures. | Photo: Lachlan Ross/Pexels
  • Bookworms are actually the larvae of the anolium beetle, silverfish or a type of lice. The larvae eat the paste used in book bindings. None of these critters is actually a worm.
  • Worm holes are hypothetical passages through space-time, theorized by Einstein, which could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe.

[ Read more: Fishing For Stripers With A Tube And Worm Rig ]

  • Earthworms are not only edible to fish but also to people. They’re a good source of protein, and may have medicinal uses for various inflammatory bowel diseases.

This article was first published in the Fall 2016 issue of Kayak Angler Magazine. Subscribe to Kayak Angler Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


Worms may be derided in art, science and religion, but fish can’t resist them. | Feature photo: Sippakorn Yamkasikorn/Pexels

 

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