Researchers in the Philippines have discovered the first living specimen of an elusive and gruesome creature known as a giant shipworm.
Incredibly, the existence of the odd animal has been known for over two centuries, via fossil evidence, but scientists had never seen one of the creatures while it was still alive until now.
The remarkable mollusk may have been hard to find because it lives buried in the ground underwater, supported and sheltered by a tube-like shell that the creature creates for itself.
Tipped off by a news report out of the Philippines, researchers located a lagoon which boasted a number of these tubes and, within them, the long-elusive giant shipworm lurked.
Captured on video, the moment when they carefully jostle the creature's shell and it slowly emerges from the tube is both breathtaking and somewhat unsettling.
Unfortunately for the creature, its moment in the sun was rather fleeting as scientists, eager to study the animal's anatomy for the first time, quickly dissected the historic shipworm in search of answers about its nature.
Considering what became of this discovery, one wouldn't fault the rest of the giant sandworms for staying underground as long as possible.
Source: The Guardian