What's the Giant, Slimy Worm That Horrified the Internet?

The animal, filmed last week by a Taiwanese fisherman, is a ribbon worm—part of an unusual group of marine creatures that can swallow prey whole.

The ocean serves up all kinds of weirdness—from giant fish that spawn sea serpent myths to blue jellyfish that coat beaches. But the marine realm's latest offering is not for the faint of heart.  

Fishermen in Taiwan recently spotted a giant, bright-green worm waggling what looks like a pink tongue and posted a video of it online last week. The footage has since gone viral.

The creature in question is a type of nemertean, or ribbon worm, called Lineus fuscoviridis, says Jon Norenburg, chair of invertebrate zoology at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C.

This harmless species ranges from Japan to the Philippines and is fairly common in tropical coastal waters, he says. The animal in the

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