He couldn't believe his eyes the first time he spotted it. He had never seen anything quite like it in his life, and he was pretty knowledgeable in marine life. But as he stared at the creature with fear and intrigue, a few questions popped into his head. For one thing, how did it get in his fish tank, and how was he going to get rid of this thing? He didn't want to do it, but if he didn't, then would the other creatures be in trouble?
Most home aquarium owners don't have to deal with this situation because the kind of marine life people keep are usually harmless fish, turtles, and coral. In fact, that's what YouTube user Gurutek was accustomed to. He was a marine life enthusiast and had an array of colorful, tropical fish. But one day, he noticed he had more in his aquarium than the simple fish he was used to seeing swimming around, and his fish were at risk.
Gurutek's fish tank was huge, and it had a variety of coral and fish. He also made sure that the water inside the tank was ideal for the marine life inside to continue to thrive. But then, he noticed something odd. The coral in the aquarium was vanishing. He assumed he was just imagining it at first. But overnight, the entire colonies of coral had started to vanish into thin air, and he realized that something just wasn't right.
He wanted to know what was causing the coral to disappear. Now some fish, like parrotfish, use coral as a food source. But the fish in his tank didn't eat coral. So, he decided to check the water's acidity, salinity, and temperature because these things could all affect the health of coral. He even checked the coral that remained inside the tank for possible diseases, but he didn't find anything that could have led to the coral vanishing overnight. He realized something was up, but he couldn't put his finger on it.
Since he couldn't solve the mystery, he decided that the only way to keep the colonies healthy was to buy more coral. But he couldn't let it go. He continued to inspect the fish tank closely for clues that could help him figure out what was happening. But, no matter how much he kept an eye on things, he didn't see anything wrong. Then he researched predatory marine species and came to a shocking realization he hadn't considered before.
Most ocean predators will only hunt at night, which explained why Gurutek hadn't caught the creature responsible for eating the coral. So, one night, he sat in the dark by the aquarium because that's how determined he was to find the thing responsible. A few nights later, his dedication to finding answers finally paid off. He saw something moving at the bottom of the tank. It was slithering in the sand, but it was too dark to get a good look.
Gurutek was sitting there in the dark, so he couldn't identify the creature. Then, he turned the light on, but the creature didn't move, and he couldn't see him anymore. So, he tried to catch the mysterious animal again, but only managed to get a glimpse of it three times over a period of an entire year. Obviously, this creature wanted to remain hidden. But then, Gurutek began to move his aquarium and that's when his efforts paid off.
Gurutek started to take the huge aquarium apart little by little in order to relocate it to a different area. He took the fish, the rocks, and the fish to a temporary tank. Now, all that was left were pieces of dead coral laying at the bottom of the aquarium, where the sand, and the possible creature were. With the help of a long tool, Gurutek stirred the sand until he noticed something moving, and then, the mysterious creature appeared.
Gurutek and his pals couldn't believe their eyes as the creature wiggled its way out of the sand. It was like a water snake, but it had tiny feet like a centipede, and it appeared to be headless. The sight of it was scary. After the shock settled, Gurutek tried catching the creature using a pair of tongs. But the creature's tail snapped off, and it continued to wiggle, while the rest of it circled the aquarium in a frantic and erratic way. This experience was the stuff nightmares were made of, but what was it exactly?
Gurutek did some research and finally figured out what the creature in his aquarium was. It was called a sand striker, or a Bobbitt worm. The creature lives on the ocean floor and tends to ambush its prey while it hunts. In fact, with its incredible speed and sharp teeth, it can wreak havoc on whatever it sets its eyes on. Gurutek's fish were no match for this thing and neither was the coral. But the question was, how did it get inside his aquarium?
How this creature ended up in the aquarium of a British man was a mystery. Bobbit worms are often found in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic ocean's warm waters. However, these creatures spawn all over the place. So, when the females release their eggs and the males fertilize them, the eggs are dispersed. Alone, these eggs rely on plants or rocks in order to survive, so it's likely that one of them stowed away in something that ended up in Gurutek's aquarium. So, what was he going to do with this creature?
Gurutek might have been fascinated by this Bobbit worm who had thrived in his tank for two years, but he didn't want it anymore. This creature had a toxin that was so powerful it could harm anything living inside his aquarium. So, he reached out a marine fish keeper, who was glad to take the worm off Gurutek's hand and give it a chance to thrive somewhere else. Meanwhile, Gurutek wanted to share what he had discovered with the rest of the world.
Gurutek posted the video of the Bobbit worm on YouTube, and it garnered plenty of attention. In fact, it was seen more than 8 million times. Many YouTube viewers suggested that Gurutek should have ended it because it was a scary creature, but others believed he should have dried it and put it up on display. Meanwhile, others were trying to figure out why it took so long for him to notice that this thing was in his tank. But there was a reason for that.
There are two separate instances where Bobbit worms were accidentally brought into aquariums. A worm was found in a tank display at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, England after coral appeared sliced, and the fish were injured or disappeared. But they didn't discover the creature until they took the aquarium apart the way Gurutek did. Maidenhead Aquatics in Woking also discovered a Bobbit worm slithering in their aquariums. But where did the Bobbit worms' name come from?
Most animal species got named after the individual who discovered them, so you'd think that there was a scientist roaming around called Bobbitt, but you'd be wrong. The worm got its name after Lorena Bobbitt, a woman who became famous after she got back at her husband and threw his manhood out in a field while driving back in 1994. The Bobbit worm's sharp, scissor-like jaws is why the reference was used.