Very, very weird sewer creatures caught on camera - tubifex worms or bryozoan?

by | Jun 30, 2009 09:00 AM ET

Near my home in Raleigh, NC, these bizarre creatures were caught on camera:

It looks freaky, but it is described here as "a colony of tubifex worms":

Raleigh 'sewer creature' surprises city officials

Ed Buchan, environmental coordinator at the Raleigh Public Utilities Department, said staff biologists have confirmed that the "creature" is actually a colony of tubifex worms. The colonies attach themselves to roots that gradually work themselves into weak points in the pipes.
"They seem to respond to the light from the camera," Buchan said. "That light is pretty hot."
The worms naturally occur in sewage and pond sediment and are actually sold both live and dried as fish food in pet stores.

This video shows how tubifex worms naturally clump together when separated:

There was something very similar in Denver. It is described here as a Bryozoan:

Prehistoric Sewer Monster Caught on Video

An aquatic specialist from the DOW confirmed that what the camera had discovered was actually a Bryozoan, a primitive life form that, as a species, is over 350 million years old.
The Bryozoans are collections of smaller organisms that filter food out of the water supply, and they are an extremely primitive "animal" life form.

Apparently you can find another form of bryozoa in the bayou:

For more info see: Bryozoa

The sewer robot that took this video - what did it look like? Here's a typical sewer robot:

More info on sewers and septic tanks:

- How Sewer and Septic Systems Work

- Watch as sewer workers descend into the city sewer. Learn more about sewers in this video

What is Cameron Village? It is a shopping center in Raleigh, NC:


Fun fact - Cameron Village was one of the first "planned communities" in the United States and was "the first shopping center constructed between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia. By 1950, Cameron Village, a “town within a town,” comprised 65 stores, 112 business or professional offices, 566 apartment units, and 100 private homes."

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