Hoaxes & Rumors

Photo of Giant Earthworm: Real or Fake?

Photo of Giant Earthworm: Real or Fake?

An image circulating online shows a person holding a giant earthworm which appears to be several feet long. Is this image real or fake?

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It’s real.

Let’s first take a look at the image in circulation.


The man shown in the photo is Mickey Grosman, who logged a 5000-mile trek across South America to create a “global awareness and fight towards finding a cure” for cancer. The photo of Grosman holding the worm was reposted in December 2013 with a comment that read: “The worm is actually native to the cloud forest area of South America. The high humidity levels create an ideal habitat for these worms that in Kichwa are called cuica.”

Below are additional photos of the same worm, which was said to be found in the Sumaco National Park in Ecuador.

worm2 worm-on-ground

You can see more photos of Grosman’s adventure on the Facebook page Amazon 5000 – for the cure.

Below is a video trailer of Grosman’s journey.

This blogger has some photos of the same worm in his attempts at identifying it. Project Noah also includes photos of what appears to be the same worm, with discussion about its classification. Speculation on that page suggests is that it could be a Martiodrilus crassus.

World’s Largest Worm

According to TreeHugger.com, the world’s largest worm is believed to be the Giant Gippsland earthworm from Australia. That worm can live up to 5 years grow up to 9.8 feet in length.

Bottom Line

The photo of a man holding a giant worm is real. Mickey Grosman is shown holding the giant earthworm, which is native to South America. There are several other images from the same time which corroborate this photo. There appears to be no consensus as to what species of worm is depicted in the photos.

Are you familiar with this worm? Please provide additional info about it in the comments below.

Updated July 17, 2015
Originally published January 2014

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