It’s been described as “flubber from hell” — a long green thing, wriggling along the ground, suddenly shoots at a massive pink goo, in a video shot in Taiwan that is now making its way around the world.
The film seems to show a nemertea, or ribbon worm. The animals usually live under the sea, where they can grow to a huge size, but sometimes make their way up onto cold and wet parts of the land.
The pink thing that seems to emerge from it is a proboscis — a long appendage that they can shoot out to paralyse prey, before feeding on it.
The video was apparently taken in Taiwan, when the animal was spotted by uploader Wei Cheng Jian while he was fishing in a port, and uploaded to Facebook. It has since been seen by hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom are disgusted by the slimy and alien appearance of the worm.
Ribbon worms were also identified as the horrifying creature shown in another recent video. That also showed a proboscis shooting out of the worm’s head, this time spreading like glue across a man’s hand.
Nemertea are fairly popular on YouTube, where they can be seen attempting to eat other worms, among other things. There is a wide variation in the type of ribbon worms that live in the sea — there are over 900 species in all — with the animals varying in colour and the consistency of their probosces.