The Sea Creature With Scissor-Like Jaw You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

For millions of years the ocean has been a refuge for all manner of surprising organisms, resulting in some exceptionally unsettling body types. When life was just starting to make its debut on land for instance, animals such as Eurypterids; early scorpion-like arthropods that could reach 8 feet in length, were among the largest of the world’s early apex predators (via Earth Archive). Giant ocean-dwelling predators have been a trend ever since, with others like the giant Devonian-era fish Dunkleosteus and the more recent whale-eating shark Megalodon terrorizing their respective prey for millions of years.

Even today seemingly mythical animals like the Giant Squid are still alive and well. There is another creature alive in the modern era that is also a giant representative of its family. As described by Wired, the Bobbit Worm is a relatively unknown predator whose rarity has prevented both extensive study and media exposure. Given that many can measure around 10-feet-long and all possess massive shear-like mandibles, perhaps for casual swimmers, this is a good thing.

The Bobbit worm is understandably named after Lorena Bobbit

Named after the 1993 Bobbit affair, the Bobbit worm comes across as indeed capable of such acts as its namesake (via Newsweek). For millions of years, this ambush predator has routinely waited beneath the ocean floor for prey. On account of their lack of eyes or brain, the key to its success lies in the antennae attached to the mouths/heads of the worm. Hungry fish are lured in by and touch what they think are smaller worms, only to then be pulled down into the sand by the Bobbit worm’s sharp and venomous pincers (via Nature.com).  

Unfortunately for aquarium owners, the Bobbit worm has not just plagued fish in the wild. Often they will be concealed within the coral used to decorate aquariums, allowing them to sneak their way into many public and private displays. This typically leads to confusion from the owners as their fish disappear, before the rapid growth rate of the worm reveals them (via DailyMail). 

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