Climb inside the giant worm at Wildlife Wonderland, into its simulated stomach, and get ready to learn more than you ever wanted to know about the monstrous Gippsland Giant worm. The largest of Australia’s wide variety of earthworms, these slimy behemoths are an average of 3 ft. long with a 1 in. diameter, and can grow up to 6-10 ft. on the rare, horrifying occasion.
Originally thought to be a snake, Megascolides australis was discovered and classified in the 1870’s. Rarely seen due to its underground habitat, they only visit the surface if their burrows are flooded by an unusually heavy rain. Partial to a particular blue-grey clay that is only found in an area consisting of about 100,000 hectares, the Gippsland crawler is slowly becoming endangered due to its one-of-a-kind environment being cleared and tilled by farmers. As of 2012, the Giant Gippsland Earthworm is listed as a threatened and protected species under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
Once you’ve entered the 100m, brightly decorated worm-shaped museum, you can marvel at ‘The World’s Largest Earthworms On Display”, investigate a worm stomach from the inside, enjoy exhibits displaying worm natural history, and investigate the marine worm tank. While these worms of great magnitude are rarely seen in the wild, disturbingly they can sometimes be heard gurgling as they move under the wet ground. Try not to think about that as you climb through the museum’s human-sized burrow to experience the home of the creatures that live under “Down Under”.
Update: The Wildlife Wonderland Park was forced to close due to offences against the Wildlife Act 1975 and the eviction of the operator by the landlord. The Wildlife Wonderland Park did not have a licence to display native wildlife to the public, and the operator of Wildlife Wonderland has voluntarily surrendered all animals to DSE and RSPCA.