Wonderful Worms

earthworms in the dirt
Actually, I’m pretty grossed out by these guys.

When I was a kid, I LOVED worms. As an adult? Not so much.

I mean, I appreciate worms (as I do all creatures on our planet) and wish them no harm whatsoever. But the truth is, their gooey bodies make me want to gag.

Yesterday, I sucked up my fear for a few seconds and held a worm in my hand to the delight of my five-year-old, who yes, also LOVES worms.

(Being a parent ain’t easy, my friends.)

And while digging up some fun facts about worms with my kid, I discovered perhaps the biggest earthworm fan of all time: Charles Darwin. Sure, the naturalist, geologist and biologist is best known for his theory of evolution. But he also studied worms for almost 40 years. He would go out every morning and evening, often with his children (who most likely also loved worms), to observe and record the habits of earthworms and their effect on soil. He was fascinated. Darwin believed that these invertebrates were the most important creature on our planet.

He published a book with his findings in 1881, just before he died. The name of that book? The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Earthworms. It may not sound like a bestseller (and, let’s be honest, probably wouldn’t be today). But it was back then.

In fact, it sold more copies at the time than anything else he wrote!

Worms may not be my favourite animals—but they are amazing. After all, they have five hearts, they can regenerate segments of their bodies, and they have been on the planet for over 600 million years. Just to name a few impressive facts about them.

Wriggle on, worms. Just not in my hand thank you very much.