Home > Biology, Science > Meet Barry, the Sea Worm, and Never Sleep Again

Meet Barry, the Sea Worm, and Never Sleep Again

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments


It seemed like only last week when I related my fear of the beasties of the ocean. Most of you mocked me mercilessly and were all like, “But, DJ, the sea is so awesome; you should love all of the creatures in it, from the cucumber to the kraken.” At least that’s what I assume that people were saying about me during the cold, cold night when I cry myself to sleep. And do you know why I cry myself to sleep? It doesn’t involve Barry, the sea worm, but it certainly could because he is truly the stuff of nightmares.

If you’re anything like me you have deep psychological scarring from watching the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. While Ricardo Montalban’s heaving man pecs was the genesis of most of this trauma, not a little can also be the result of the ceti eel which Khan uses to brainwash Checkov and thoroughly ick out the audience. I’m not sure where the writers came up with the idea for the ceti eel, or how the special effects team came up for the design of it, but I can only assume that they stole the look from sea worms.

Which brings us to Barry. Barry is a sea worm. A four foot long sea worm. I can’t find any information about what kind of sea worm Barry is, but I can only assume that he belongs to the phylum nightmarican fuelicus. Actually he’s a polychaete, some of which can actually be very pretty, like the Christmas tree worm or the feather duster worm.

Awww

Ooooohhhh!

Cool!

Barry, on the other hand is not beautiful or cool or interesting, he’s just frightening. Don’t believe me? BAMF!

Kill it! Kill it with fire!

As if the thought of that thing swimming towards me wasn’t scarring enough to ensure that all of my therapist’s children will end up going to ivy league colleges, Barry has another ace up his non-existent sleeve. All of his four feet (and I mean that as in length, not appendages) is covered in barbs. If you’re unlucky enough to get stung by one of those, it’ll cause numbness. Permanently.

Irukandji may cause severe pain and delusional thoughts of impending death but at least that goes away.

Barry was found in an aquarium in Newquay, England. Aquarium workers figure that he stowed away in a piece of coral that they added to the exhibit when he was still rather small. They only discovered his presence after realizing that the coral in the aquarium was being ravaged and that occasionally fish would disappear.

As frightening as Barry is, I still find it amazing that nature still ha the ability to surprise us.

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Categories: Biology, Science Tags: , , , , , , ,
  1. December 9, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Yikes!!!

  2. Hajar Bakear
    January 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve always hated worms and now I have a deathly fear of them. And Barry cruising around on land in that photo? wtf!!!

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