Let’s just jump right in and explore a cryptid that bears a striking resemblance to one of the worst movies of all time, Tremors. I would apologize if any of you disagree and/or are offended by that statement, but you’re wrong, so I have nothing to apologize for. Tremors was awful. And terrible. And horrendous. And every other synonym for bad. You should go take a shower and try to wash off the shame of liking that movie.
If you don’t remember the movie, it’s about these subterranean worm-like creatures that terrorize a small desert town. If you don’t remember the movie, consider yourself one of the few lucky untainted individuals. You have room in your brain for stuff that doesn’t suck, like the real life version of those animatronic wormy devils.
Lance Bradshaw’s rendering of a minhocão.
The minhocão is said to reside in the forests of South America, more specifically, under the forests of South America. These suckers are about the biggest damn earthworms (though technically not earthworms, not even in the same family as earthworms) you’ll ever lay your eyes on, measuring in at 75 to 150 feet in length and up to 10 feet in diameter. They have visible mouths and tentacle-like feelers on their heads. Did I mention they remind me of the horribly bad movie, Tremors? I can’t help but assume the story of these creatures inspired that God awful movie. I’m fairly certain it wasn’t the other way around as stories of these incredible beasts date back to at least the 1800s. I’m no film buff, especially when it comes to all things Tremors related, but I’m 99.9% sure the movie isn’t that old.
These baddies are famous for the enormous tunnels they leave behind, which sound like they would serve as awesome evidence that these things exist. The only problem: it tends to rain in the South American RAIN FORESTS- a lot! That means these gigantic tunnels conveniently tend to flood when it rains (all the freaking time) and create underground bodies of water instead of remaining empty to be investigated by researchers who could then claim these magnificent creatures truly exist.
Locals believe these bad boys can uproot trees, collapse buildings, and divert rivers just by passing by. You think you’ve had a bad day? Try having a giant worm collapse your house, then tell me you’ve had a bad day. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather keep my distance from anything that can do any of those things.
As if the threat of your house coming down on your head or a tree squashing you while you’re trying to enjoy a nice picnic lunch in the shade weren’t enough, the minhocão are a carnivorous lot. They’re said to have developed a taste for cattle. I can’t say I blame them. I do love hamburgers, except I prefer mine cooked. I’m not a big steak eater though, my wife thinks its weird that I’d choose a burger over a steak, but that’s who I am. I make no apologies for that. Supposedly these things make their way into a river and wait for the cattle to drink. They then proceed to devour the bovines crocodile style. They shoot up out of the water and snag the cow while it’s sipping away at the nice cool water. I won’t call the water fresh exactly. There are probably all sorts of nasty little parasites swimming around in there. Maybe the cattle are better off at the hands of the minhocão than with those little devils swimming around their insides. Note to self: avoid standing near the banks of and/or entering South American waterways.
The most widely accepted theory is that, if they exist, they’re likely a new species of caecilian. A caecilian is an amphibian with a worm-like, limbless body, subterranean/aquatic habits, and tentacle-like sense organs on the head, which basically describes these overgrown baddies to a T. Care to take a guess where most caecilians are found? Yup, that’s right, the forests of South America.
Sounding plausible yet? If it weren’t for the astounding size of this beast, I’d say yes. If it were smaller, I’d be on the plausible boat, but it’s not, so neither am I.
As a special bonus on this Weird and Wacky Wednesday, here’s a totally unrelated bit of weirdness for you. Follow the link and be amazed, The Rare Elusive Goatman near Ogden.