‘It’s huge!’: Giant earthworms, spiders climbing the walls

 

Giant earthworms have started emerging above ground as they try to escape floodwaters following heavy rain deluge across part of Queensland.

One was found at a motel in the Gold Coast hinterland this morning.

"It's huge!" exclaimed Darren Jack in a video posted to his Australian Outback Opals and Tall Trees Motel Facebook pages.

A thick, 50cm long worm can be seen trying to slowly creep under the closed door of room five of the Tall Trees Motel on Eagle Heights Rd on Tamborine Mountain.

Mr Jack told The Courier-Mail he and his wife, Maryanne - who also owned the Lemon Lovers Gelato store - had come across larger worms before after living in the area for about eight years.

"This one wasn't one of the larger ones, I've seen them more than double the thickness," he said.

Darren Jack with the giant earthworm in a still from a video. Picture: Tall Trees Motel/Facebook
Darren Jack with the giant earthworm in a still from a video. Picture: Tall Trees Motel/Facebook

Mr Jack said he had headed to the room about 7.30am today to inspect it after guests had checked out, and was stunned to find the large worm sitting lengthwise along the front door.

"There's a massive, massive earthworm trying to get in under the door and it's trying to constrict itself," he said in the video, before placing his hand next to it.

"I'll show you how big it is. There's my hand. Unbelievable."

The businessman later picks up the creature - likely to be a "digaster longmani" worm - and drapes it across both of his hands to show its length.

"All the rain and floods that we've had here has just created havoc for all the wildlife and the guests, but at the moment, the guests are all safe inside. And so are the earthworms trying to get in," he said.

"… It was trying to escape all the saturated soil just trying to get into shelter."

 

The head of the giant worm found trying to slither into a motel room on Tamborine Mountain. Picture: Tall Trees Motel/Facebook
The head of the giant worm found trying to slither into a motel room on Tamborine Mountain. Picture: Tall Trees Motel/Facebook

Mr Jack said he had since released the worm, but not before showing it to his wife "to her horror."

|"There'll be plenty now the ground is so filled with water, they've got no choice but to come up. Even the spiders are climbing up the walls of the building," he said.

Although rare to see above ground, it is not the first time giant earthworms have appeared around the state following large amounts of rain.

The largest of the large worms, known as "digaster longmani", and are found only in southeast Queensland and northern NSW.

 

 

Julia Bruhn with a giant earthworm, also known as “digaster longmani”, at the Glow Worm Caves on Tamborine Mountain in 2019. The worms come up for air following heavy rain. Picture: Glow Worm Caves Tamborine Mountain/Facebook.
Julia Bruhn with a giant earthworm, also known as “digaster longmani”, at the Glow Worm Caves on Tamborine Mountain in 2019. The worms come up for air following heavy rain. Picture: Glow Worm Caves Tamborine Mountain/Facebook.

Experts have previously told The Courier-Mail the southeast Queensland worm burrows deep into the earth and are not often seen above ground unless their homes have been disturbed by landslips, excavations or heavy rain.

A digaster longmani, named after the former Director of the Queensland Museum, the late Albert Heber Longman, can grow up to two metres but averaged about one metre in length.

They averaged only about half the size of the Giant Gippsland earthworm found in the Gippsland region in Victoria.

Originally published as 'It's huge!': Giant earthworms, spiders climbing the walls


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