Spring rains often bring earthworms to the surface, where you can see them writhing on the soil and over sidewalks, but a town near New Jersey in the United States had recently witnessed a strange phenomenon accompanied by heavy rains.
Whirlpool of worms
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While residents of Hoboken, New Jersey, on their morning walk on March 25, saw hundreds of worms scattered along the road, the most strange thing was that these worms lined up in a hurricane-like shape, which led to the formation of a whirlpool of these worms.
According to a report published by Live Science, Hoboken City Councilor Tiffany Fisher says, “It is normal for us to see worms after it rains, but I’ve never seen them move like this before.”
The lenses of the photographers captured these worms (Wormnado) as they wriggled in their places without taking the characteristic spiral shape of their movement, and these worms were distributed to form a large spiral, as many worms lined up at the edges of this whirlpool, and eyewitnesses say that they saw many of these worms Clinging to the walls of buildings adjacent to that whirlpool.
Some like to imagine that these vortex worms are nothing but a predisposition to the giant “Worm Moon” that lit up the night sky a few days after that incident, specifically on March 28 as if it were a festive wedding of worms on that moon, but is it really so? https://www.youtube.com/embed/2y584iTnQIw?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=ar&autohide=2&wmode=transparent
According to a statement by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, worms breathe through the skin, and thus, when heavy rain floods the soil, the worms fall under only two options: either go out to the surface or risk their lives and drown.
Usually these worms come out to the surface alone, but sometimes they clump together as soon as they come out to the surface, as these groups facilitate the worms to communicate with each other regarding their path of movement.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Biology in 2010, red worms (Eisenia fetida) are such groups through which they influence each other to determine their migration path, and worms do not do so by means of Chemical signals, but rather through their contact.
This collective behavior helps the worms survive the challenges of the harsh environment, and sometimes this behavior is to defend themselves from any predators or from any pathogens, as the study indicates.
Interpretation of eddy motion
However, the reason for this vortex is not known, which is confirmed by Yongsu Yu, a professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate at the University of Minnesota in the United States, saying, “This vortex is interesting, as I have never seen it like this Before, as he told the “Live Science” website.
It is noteworthy that some worms – such as the California blackworm – form a knot with each other consisting of 50 thousand worms after exposure to a drought, and therefore the accumulation of worms in this way makes them less vulnerable to drought than if they encountered them alone.
Sade Bhamla, assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, believes that “sudden changes in soil water and the ground environment may explain the form in which these vortexes moved.”
Bahama and his team observed the same behavior in the water black worms that they studied, which form these huge nodes together, as Hamla believes that “the decline of the earth will lead to the drainage of its water according to the shape of that slope, and therefore, the worms may follow the sloping water forming this vortex behavior.” .
And Hamla bases his conclusion on the paths that he observed for the water black worms, which he saw tracking the water currents forming different aggregations and paths, as these worms begin to congregate in this way as soon as the water drainage begins, but it is difficult to confirm the validity of this conclusion for the vortices of the worms based on the images that It was just captured.