Found: 'Crazy Snake Worms' in Oregon - Atlas Obscura
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Found: ‘Crazy Snake Worms’ in Oregon

An invasive species, it turns out.

Finding an invasive species that runs the risk of destabilizing your local ecosystem is never a good sign. But sometimes it has a funny name. According to the Daily Astorian, locals have recently found “crazy snake worms” infesting the state.

Technically known as the Amynthas agresitis, the worm is a species that generally calls Japan and Korea home. They get their colorful nickname from their tendency to thrash around wildly when picked up. The worms are also known as “Jersey Wrigglers,” or “Asian Jumping Worms.” From outward appearances, they look just like normal worms, but a bit more slender.

The snake worm is an aggressively invasive species, running the risk of causing damage to the Oregon ecosystem by eating the nutrient rich layer of soil that would normally foster plant growth. How the worms got to the state is unclear, but they could have come with earthmoving equipment, fishing gear, or even compost.

The impact of the worms is not yet known, but as more of them are found, it’s becoming clear to officials, eventually, they might become a real problem.