First it was Murder Hornets.
Now worms that resemble the carnivorous creatures in the “Tremors” film series have invaded Georgia.
Actually, the Georgia worms are a lot smaller than their onscreen counterparts — but they’re just as ugly. Known as “shovel-headed worms” or “hammerhead worms,” the invasive creatures grow to about a foot long, says James Murphy, a University of Georgia agriculture expert. What’s especially creepy about them is their mouths aren’t located on their heads; instead, they’re on the undersides of their bodies, halfway between their heads and tails, Murphy says.
But it’s not the worms’ monstrous appearance that has officials concerned. They secrete tetrodotoxin, the same deadly neurotoxin produced by pufferfish, experts say. While Murphy says hammerhead worms don’t produce enough to hurt people, he says they’re killing Florida’s native species — especially underground dwellers — in record time.