Freaky Mass Invasion – ‘Wormnado’ Baffles Scientists
Why are worms killing themselves on my driveway every time it rains? The bodies are everywhere, including the bottom of my shoes as I squish my way to the car. Not only do they appear to be committing suicide, worms have been spotted forming an unusual pattern of sorts, a 'worm-nado'. What the heck is a 'worm-nado'?
Take a look on the ground, sidewalk or driveway after it rains. You will see them, some alive and some dead. They aren't actually trying to end it all. They are trying to survive! One of their best chances for survival is to form in a group. Usually this 'herd' forms a ball but recently they have been spotted forming a circular pattern. Here is a recent sighting in New Jersey.
This formation is so unusual that scientists won't really know what to make of it until more information is available. Some suggest that it may be rain that swept them into the tornado type pattern. More commonly, earthworms will create a ball of worms during dry weather months and they do this to prevent themselves from drying out but a 'wormnado'? That's a new one.
According to Live Science on YouTube, earthworms breathe through their skin so when the rain soaks the soil the worms have to come to the surface for air. Your Capital Region driveway or city sidewalk are good places for them to escape the wet and suffocating soil.
So next time it rains and you see the bodies on the driveway, don't judge. They are just trying to survive like the rest of us. If you see a 'wormnado' however, get pictures and video. This IS Science after all.