Jumping 'snake worms' are taking over US forests and that's bad news for other creepy crawlers
Scientists suspect climate change is to blame.
Culture & Entertainment
A jumping "snake worm" has started taking over US forests and it's on a mission to be the only creepy crawlers in town.
This invasive kind of earthworm, which got its name by how it thrashes like an angry snake on a fishing line, is originally from Asia, according to The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum and Science News.
They arrived in the US about a century ago and were spread a bit through the potted plant industry, as well as by fishermen who buy the worm to use as bait, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
In the last 15 years, though, they have begun to spread more rapidly, establishing their homes in the south and mid-Atlantic states, Science News reported. There have been sightings in the northeast, upper Midwest, and west, too, according to the agency.
"I never imagined an invasive species as horrific as these jumping worms," Dr. Lee Frelich, Director for the Center of Forest Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, said in a video produced by the Minnesota DNR. "When I saw the first forest that was infested, and as you walk across the slope, just from a person walking, the soil slides down the slope."