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David Emery

Raleigh 'Sewer Monster' a Colony of Worms

By July 2, 2009

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Billed as an "Unknown Life Form in North Carolina Sewer," this creepy YouTube video of what looks like nothing so much as a pulsating blob of meat lodged in a Raleigh, NC sewer pipe is quite real, though in truth it is neither "unknown" nor an "alien" life form, as many who've seen the video have speculated.

According to various experts it's a either a colony of tubifex worms (aka "sludge worms") or a colony of Bryozoans (tentacled organisms commonly referred to as "moss animalcules"), both of which are relatively common but rarely seen by the average person because their native habitats are underwater. It's not unusual to find either species thriving in sewers.

Learn more:
Raleigh 'Sewer Creature' Surprises City Officials
Don't Be Alarmed, But It Is Alive!
Creatures from the Sewer
Public Utilities Group Confirms Sewer Monster Is Real

Speaking of monsters:
'Montauk Monster' Was Evidently a Dead Raccoon
Alligators in the Sewers
The Jersey Devil
The Monster Crocodile of Pointe-Noire
The Angolan Witch Spider


July 4, 2009 at 1:57 am
(1) Deborah Marchant' says:

Thank you for posting facts about this cringing colony of worms. I watched with astonishment not about the worms, nor about how the numbers of views of this video tape went from around 2 million to 5 million within 24 hours, but with the thousands of reactive replies posted by viewers that needed critical thinking, self-restraint and open-mindedness. The way thousands of human minds have cringed at the sights in this video and overreacted in their replies do remind me of the colonies of worms that cringe from the light and heat of the camera. Thanks for shedding light on this interesting wildlife, worms and humans alike. Deborah Marchant’

July 4, 2009 at 6:04 pm
(2) swamp monster says:

Shut up Deb.

July 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm
(3) kowbelle says:

No matter how you look at it, it is gross and disgusting. Reminds me of the politicians in Raleigh. (Yes, I’m from NC).

July 27, 2009 at 2:43 am
(4) SushiChef says:

I would love to try this as sushi or sashimi. This looks absolutely delicious.

November 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm
(5) swamp monster killer says:

Shut up swamp monster.

November 21, 2009 at 11:44 pm
(6) Simona says:

I have seen Tubifex worms. If you look close, this thing is not that. Looks to me that it has a kind of membrane clinging to the pipe and when it moves, that membrane moves just like when you try to pry free a suction cup from a tile. Looks like whatever it is, is one single unit attached to the pipe by a gel-looking extension. Might be a known species, but it surely isn’t Tubifex. Sorry, you have to come with a better explanation :)

December 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm
(7) Jac says:

Swamp Monster shut up

April 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm
(8) Know more says:

Has anyone even gone down the sewer and even removed cut open or even taken samples of these so called worms know the video footage of some one removing cutting investigating these worms would be even more fascinating

April 30, 2014 at 9:13 pm
(9) trish says:

They are lying…these are not tubiflex worms. Demand a investiagion.

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