Say hello to Dave, the largest earthworm ever discovered in Britain.
This ridiculously long specimen of the common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) was discovered by Paul Rees of Widness, who spotted the 40 cm behemoth in his veggie garden. His stepson, George, named it Dave. Knowing he had found something rather extraordinary, Rees delivered Dave to Emma Sherlock, a scientist at the Natural Museum of History.
Emma Sherlock from the Natural History Museum and Dave, from Paul Rees’ veggie garden. (Image: Natural History Museum)
“I was bowled over by the size of this worm when I opened the plastic box they sent it in,” said Sherlock in a museum release. “Not only is it really long, it is almost twice as heavy as any other wild earthworm ever seen, weighing the same as a small chocolate bar.”
How wonderful that she compared its weight to a chocolate bar. Anyway, the worm weighed in at 26 grams, which absolutely destroys the previous record for the UK — a 15 gram earthworm discovered in Scotland just last year.
Worms the size of Dave are rare because the larger they get, the more likely they are to become some animal’s meal. What’s more, the garden that Dave lived in must have been incredibly fertile and well-drained, with decaying matter quickly recycled back into the soil.
Sadly, Dave is no longer among the living: a victim of his incredible length and girth. Much to the chagrin of some overly sensitive tweeters:
— Tiffany Oconnell (@toc83) November 4, 2016
Poor Dave the earthworm, he was killed just so he could be put in a museum!! #justicefordave
— Mel Dobson (@EinalemNosbod) November 4, 2016
The good news, however, is that Dave will be preserved in a jar at the Natural History Museum for all time. So tweeters calm down. [Natural History Museum]