Bobbit: The sinister sea creature that left Blue Planet 2 viewers terrified

All you need to know about the 'giant carnivorous worm with jaws as sharp as daggers'

Beware the Bobbit - Blue Planet exhibits an absolutely savage carnivorous seaworm

Its opening episode was the most-watched programme of 2017 and The BBC’s Blue Planet II series has received rave reviews since it began airing last month.

But one creature featured on the show - the metre-long, terrifyingly fast, sea bed-dwelling predator known as the Bobbit worm - has left viewers “thoroughly traumatised”.

Here we take a look at what has viewers so scared:

What is a Bobbit worm?

David Attenborough described it as a “giant carnivorous worm with jaws as sharp as daggers”.

He told viewers that it “has an ancestry that stretches back more than 400 million years.”

How big is it?

The creatures that gave viewers the creeps are on average, a metre long (3.3 feet).

However, they can reportedly reach up to 10 feet (3m) in length.

Why is it so scary?

The Bobbit conceals its long body in the sea bed and waits with its head either at ground level or poking a couple of inches out of the bed, ready to ambush its prey.

At great speed, it then snatches fish at great speed with its sharp jaws that, in the words of Dr Terry Gosliner, “spring shut like a bear trap”.

It then drags its prey underground.

Where is it found?

Generally found in warmer oceans, such as the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans, occasionally the Bobbit worm finds its way into more domestic settings.

In 2013, staff at an aquatics store in Woking had a “big surprise” when they discovered a metre-long Bobbit in one of their tanks, the BBC reported.

It was thought to have entered the tank inside a piece of live rock which had been imported into the aquarium from the ocean.

Why is it called a Bobbit?

Technically this worm is called Eunice aphroditois, but it is colloquially referred to as a Bobbit.

It was Dr Gosliner, senior curator at the California Academy of Sciences, who gave the worm its moniker after spotting the creature on a 1992 trip to the Philippines.

He told media company, Great Big Story, that when he was writing, The Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific, he needed to name the creature.

At the time, he said the case of Lorena Bobbitt was all over the news as she stood trial for maliciously wounding her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, by cutting off his penis in the middle of the night and throwing it in a field.

“Basically the ability to use those massive jaws to cut the spinal cord of a fish was something that reminded me of what Lorena Bobbitt did to her husband,” he said.

Ms Bobbitt was ultimately found not guilty of malicious wounding by reason of temporary insanity.

She now now carries out carries out charity work helping survivors of domestic abuse.

What did Blue Planet II viewers make of the Bobbit?

Taking to social media, some users described the creature as "the stuff of nightmares".

One person asked: "Is anyone else thoroughly traumatised by the alien-like carnivorous Bobbit worm?"

Another wrote: "Probably gonna have nightmares about bobbits tonight. Actually horror film worthy."

A third said: "Thanks #BluePlanet2 I was running out of ideas for nightmares, but I'll try to fit the worm in."

Another said: "Who else is avoiding sleep tonight after seeing that nightmare bobbit worm?"

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