No, those aren’t arbitrary chunks of spaghetti that someone decided to dump in the road.
At Eisenhower State Park in Denison, TX, park visitors and rangers have reported seeing massive clumps of earthworms in the wake of the state’s historic flooding that took place late last month.
Park rangers snapped photos and uploaded videos of the bizarre phenomena, showing the worm clumps lined up perfectly along the center of the road. These worm herds have since gone viral.
“We’re still puzzled why they decided to line up in the middle of the road,” Park Superintendent Ben Herman told ABC News. “Even our biologist doesn’t know why they’re spaced so well and in the line.”
Canadian earthworm farmer Dale Overton told CTV it’s likely the worms balled up above ground as a defense mechanism. Because the rains drowned the worms out of their homes, they had to clump together above ground in order to preserve their mucous membranes. Worms naturally gravitate toward high ground, which may explain why they were found along the center of the road.
Another theory? The worms may have left their homes in droves due to the vibrations caused by the heavy rains, which mimic those caused by predators like moles. It’s common for worms to clump together when they feel stressed or threatened, the Washington Post reports.
Flooding doesn’t just force earthworms out into the open air; each year, flooding leads to more than $3 billion in claims, making it the top natural disaster. The recent flooding throughout Northern Texas has taken at least 23 lives, destroyed some 200 homes and caused a stunning $30 million in damages throughout Hays County alone.
The weirdest part of all this? No other state park in Northern Texas were visited by the worm colonies. Luckily, these clumps of worms returned to their earthy homes about two days after floodwaters receded, park rangers said, leaving nothing behind but their manure.
“There’s really no telling what their thought process might be. I mean, they’re worms,” Overton said.
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