Creatures from the Sewer

The latest viral video is from the sewer under Cameron Village in Raleigh, NC.  The mysterious creatures found are nothing short of disgusting and spectacular.  This video has made its way to Video Sift and various cryptozoology sites.  Speculations on the nature of this creature run from bryozoans, cnidarians, slime molds, and some mysterious alien creature here to suck out our brains. Well let me say first that it is none of the above. I can think of no freshwater Cnidarian that looks anything like this.  It lacks the characteristic delineations that would indicate individual zooids in the colony and frankly the retracting of finger-like tentacles doesn’t seem like a bryozan characteristic (see the pictures at this site). In fact, I have poked a lot of invertebrates as lab instructor for invertebrate zoology and as a graduate student just for shits and giggles and none of the mentioned candidates would respond like this. So back to square one…

You shouldn’t trust me however…you should trust an expert in one of the aforementioned groups.  Enter stage right Dr. Timothy S. Wood who is an expert on freshwater bryozoa and an officer with the International Bryozoology Association.  I sent along the video and this was his reponse…

Thanks for the video – I had not see it before. No, these are not bryozoans!  They are clumps of annelid worms, almost certainly tubificids (Naididae, probably genus Tubifex). Normally these occur in soil and sediment, especially at the bottom and edges of polluted streams. In the photo they have apparently entered a pipeline somehow, and in the absence of soil they are coiling around each other. The contractions you see are the result of a single worm contracting and then stimulating all the others to do the same almost simultaneously, so it looks like a single big muscle contracting. Interesting video.

More video of Tubifex

156 Replies to “Creatures from the Sewer”

  1. The first video is giving me an error saying it is not publicly available.

  2. It’s not a colonoscopy film. There are concrete walls in the video. I don’t think it’s Tubifax worms either, but I haven’t really looked.

  3. Erm, does anybody else find this mildly erotic or am I in the minority?

  4. The minority. Which is probably still large enough to sell videos to for a nice profit.

  5. if they are not 2 different species in these videos, they are in different stages of life. the sewer blob looks like a slimy hive. you can see it contracting and expanding with the whole blob.explain the barb looking “nail”. very interesting indeed

  6. Clearly the videographer here is not trained in zoology – otherwise we’d have images of the whole blob in a jar of formalin! Identification would then be much easier.

  7. Doesn’t look the same to me. It seems like they would prefer to be under the water as opposed to being just above the water line. The clump in the top video seems to be very solid or is it covered with a layer of slime?

  8. Someone needs to remove one of these clumps and dig into it with a knife so that we can get another video. Or better yet, go down there and cut into it “in situ”. Now that would be fun to see.

  9. Chris, it’s definitely not a colonoscopy. Have you ever seen one of those before? Just look at google it and look at the images, it looks NOTHING like this video.

  10. Chris
    It is certainly NOT a colonoscopy film. I hope you were joking and we just didn’t get your humor. Otherwise duh.

  11. Has anyone considered a mutated variety of sea slug? That would explain the existence in the sewers, and the wierd brain-ishness. It’s possible it was exposed to air and evolved to undergo this strange mutation.

  12. Pingback: Alien ?
  13. I hope your colonoscopy doesn’t look like this chris.. but if it does, i suppose you could always profit off it through folks like mr magoo…

  14. Unfortunately the video material isn’t of high quality, but it seems like these “things” are not individual Worms moving. I’m a computer science student and have NO clue about biology at all. The only thing I can do is perform an analysis on the video material itself. As much as I’ve seen yet (with bare eyes) the surface structure stays relatively intact before and after contractions. In that Tubifex video above I saw individual worms slowly “breaking out of the formation” at times though. Further I didn’t see that much slime in the Tubifex video. That slime must be of protective nature I think. Guess one species cannot adapt so fast (produce slime the next day)…

  15. Pingback: Twitted by dek_1

  17. Woah, freaky stuff. Very cool. It’s spooky the way it all contracts, and it totally reminds me of those brain sucker things from… some old video game… I can’t remember. But the screen used to go green and it would suck your health out when they jumped on you.

  18. i don’t see how these could be tubifex worms; how do you explain all the slime?

    also, notice how the whole mass is still until it suddenly contracts when the camera is centered on the mass. the masses always contract in a similar pattern and somehow these ‘constricting worms’ are sucking up the slime around them instead of pushing slime away.

    i’m not saying this can’t be real -it would be a delight to find these are worms growing and harvesting bacterial sludge (? -actually it looks more like a slime mold) for food. however, the more likely answer is that this is a viral video for some special effects company looking to make a minor splash.

    it should be relatively simple to construct a prop like this. it is some sort of soft, gelatinous material -such as silicone or latex- resting in slime or liquid contained within a latex skin that is either molded or sprayed onto the construct. a pump at the back suctions material out to make the whole mass constrict. put a fake eye in the middle with mechanically operated eyelids for maximum gross out effect.

  19. Aliens don’t come here to suck out our brains. They come here to mate with our women. Please keep this straight in the future. Thank you.

  20. J.C. Denton: It might be that the worms aren’t strong enough to “break formation” unless they are in water.

  21. Also you can see a lot of wiggling around if you watch it in full screen

  22. Haha, Raleigh, NC? R’lyeh, anyone?
    No connection, obviously, but it’s still a cool coincidence. :)

  23. I don’t see anywhere where anyone has retrieved a specimen and verified what exactly it is yet. It seems that they haven’t even been verified yet that they are even biological.

  24. Pingback: Twitted by sfishe
  25. I owned a lot of tubifex worms in my life. They all ball up like the third video. I’ve never seen them do anything like the first video.

  26. Hello–Seeing the video and reading the comments regarding the Cameron Village video reminded me of a strange encounter my family had several years ago in Duck, NC. I hope that the Deep Sea News Team can help us determine what it was that we saw. One evening after a major storm we went out to do a little beach combing. Midway down the shore we saw a softball sized pod propted up on a dune. My husband knocked it down and we examined it closely. It was dark brown with the texture of a leathery orange, in fact we thought it might have been one discarded into the ocean and petrified. We were convinced it was old fruit and just to prove it my husband pierced with his pocket knife. It oozed a bright orange liquid, almost like a yolk. Then something inside it moved. We all screamed a little and kicked it back into the ocean.
    When we got back home I consulted some Oceanographers in Wilmington and they were able to tell me what it wasn’t: skate egg sac or turtle egg. So after this description can anyone tell me what it was? Thanks

  27. if they are worms what’s with the disgusting walls around them those cannot be sewer pipes!

  28. This is just another funny viral marketing gag to promote a new movie

  29. its my personal opinion that it one of the very rare species of AHUWHWHHFAAAAAAAAAAAARHG!!!!!! RUN!!!!!!!!!

  30. How do I get reid of them? I leave in a very old house and I need to change the leaking pipes but there is a puddle of water under the house with those things living there. Please someone help me.

  31. you’s guys is dumb. wtf. of course they’re worms. sometimes things happen and people say stupid things about them, even if it’s not true. it happened now, and it happened with the bible.


  33. Pingback: Funny Weird News
  34. lol i realy want someone to videotape themselves kicking those and seeing what falls out

  35. Pingback: Twitted by Mehar
  36. 20 bucks to lick that? Too many choices to go down the two-minded road on that my friend.

  37. Note the “tendrils” where the organism(s) meet the water. They look a great deal like a filter feeder’s “mouth.” I can’t imagine a colony having a shared system. Regardless of their function it seems unlikely they are a shared physiology.

  38. So after searching around on the matter it’s my opinion that tubiflex sounds the most viable explanation, however I also haven’t seen any pics/videos of tubiflex worms that look any thing like that. Possibly pure coincidence but not too far away on Ashe st, I noticed a plumbing crew with a robot camera as well working today (7/06)

  39. Are you kidding me? The texture of the thing itself does look like it could be made of those tubiflex worms, but hell, not ONE is blatantly out of the whole. NOT ONE in probably thousands. If you see any video on tubiflex they look like worms in every single piece. There is nothing in these creatures that looks like a worm, not a single clue in all four (?) lumps we see. The last one in particular shows how not only the stuff around it looks more muscle like than worm like, but also how it works as a whole, and not a chaotic bulb of worms. The expert’s theory on tubiflex makes sense for the protuberance to move (they all react), but not for the ones on the wall actively holding and strengthening the rest.


  41. Could this be a colony of extremophiles? Such as subsurface endoliths?

  42. I’ve read/viewed just about every zoological book and forteana and/or text (in English, mainly) that has been published in the last 50 years or so or even later (this being my only claim to scholarship). There is no record of such an animal (or organism) as this that I can ever recall seeing or reading. This thing is very definitely new – and (worse?) it does not appear to be faked. One of the commentators on this video is definitely right – had the videographer been a biologist, they should have/would have ‘captured’ a specimen in a jar or container of formalin. Even a professional fisherman would have done that. Just send this video to a professional biologist, zoologist, paleontologist, zookeeper, museum person, fisherman or the like for their review and follow-up. A definite follow-up is strongly recommended for the professional! Again, this thing(s) does not appear in the records (to my knowledge) and needs further recording and study – preferentially by the professionals. No alarm is suggested until the results come back on this specimen. Further circulation of this video and images to non-professionals may be harmful to this study. In the meanwhile, if you are not one of the professionals studying this specimen, please do stay away if you possibly can…

  43. That just doesn’t make any sense, the pictures of the worms look completely different than the ones in the video… You could actually distinguish the worms in the picture, this is all over the wall! Like a slime, the worms in the pictures look nothing like slime when they are in blobs. Also in the other videos, the worms didn’t look like they moved all at the same instant…This is too confusing!

  44. WOW.. ok first of all how can you not look past the slime and see the balls of white looking worms moving around.. I live in raleigh, and STATE STAFF BIOLOGIST comfirmed they were clumps of tubifex worms.. And yes such organisms exist. Alot think it’s bryozoans (which are known to clog pipes), but it isn’t. The only strange thing about it is how they somehow got into our sewer pipes..

  45. So your saying tubifex worms can create a thik slimey sack around the colony, thats has muscle reactive contractions to a hot light? Look closely at the edges of the slimey membrane that clings to the wall. Thats not tubifex worms hidden beneath making it move, but the membrane itself reacting. So your suggesting a ton of tubifex worms in fact created a living membrane (aka another lifeform) to surround themselves and hold them up against the pipe wall? Also, why hasn’t anyone collected one of these weird pods, and posted a video of an autopsy on one of them? That would be the quickest way to not only find out what it is, but to also dismiss the crazy alien theories. I mean come on people. Seriously? An alien lifeform come to earth and is easily found in a sewer pipe?

  46. As a Manager for Roto Rooter Plumbing in San Diego and a Master Plumber for over 20 years, I have seen THOUSANDS of sewer videos for private sewers and municipal mains. This video appears to be made inside a municipal line using a remote crawler with a pan and tilt camera in a clay tile pipe (unsure of the size, but it looks to be 8″ inside diameter, if that helps with your perspective).
    I have repaired hundereds of sewers of various sizes up to 16″.

    I have NEVER seen anything like this. REALLY SCARY! Please positivly identify these blobs, or I may have to go into early retirement, and you civilians will be on your own!

  47. Sorry; I looked at it again. The video has an imprint text from the computer software for the municipality says the pipe is 6″ clay pipe and was taken from manhole #9. The video begins about 4 feet in from the manhole entry.

  48. This was posted on June 30th, 2009 and it’s july 11th 2009. Why hasn’t anyone ripped one open and see? I mean, it’s not to hard to remove one from the wall. If it is warms, just by removing one from the wall you will be able to see what it is. Once someone cuts it up, all this would be settled.

  49. Man, i bet the government is trying to cover this up. That’s why they made a guy say it’s just tubifex worms when mutation is causing these things OR they could be aliens/parasites.

  50. To expand upon my previous post…

    I grew up in Raleigh and have crawled through culverts, waded through creeks, rolled over rocks, and have seen just about every creature that is to be found in the area. Never have I come across anything that comes close in appearance/behavior/etc to this organism. In fact it does not come close to ANY organism that I have seen ANYWHERE during my tenure an outdoors-man cum armchair biologist. This thing has multiple, discreet organ systems. While colonies (such as coral and bee hives) may share supporting elements, nothing like the systems( reactive epidermis/musculature, submerged filter feeder tendrils and antenna) present in the vid could be of a communal manufacture.

    My new question are these: Where is the rest of the footage? Where is the crew that made the discovery. Where may I find some of these on my own?

  51. Ok, Prepare to feel stupid all you people who think you know what these creatures are.
    Its a complete FAKE.
    Besides the clean water running in the sewer and the fact that the camera only looks one way down the pipe that could be setup anywhere.

    Look at the last “Creature”. You can clearly see a white string on the top that changes angle from the person pulling it.

    You can see it on the first one as well.

    Look again people.

  52. srmuerte, you have no idea what you’re talking about and unless someone comes forth to claim that they perpetrated a hoax and explain how they did it, your asinine assumption means nothing. The matter has already been investigated by the local news.

  53. First off it looks to me like some type of cocoon from the alien movie. I mean it doesnt look to me at all like those worms. These worms in the other two videos are actually moving around and breaking off a little from each other. Now on the other hand the video in the sewer they do not get seperated and it seems to be one thing by itself.It’s dumb that all those people on youtube are saying it’s a colonoscopy so sad for people that think everything can be explained. This is definitely something that I think needs to be looked into. If these are just worms then why isn’t there footage of these worms in other sewers?

  54. This is in response to the guy who says it is setup. #1 Sewer water is 99.9 percent clean water, from showers, dishwashers washing machines, and if you knew anything that is what a typical video assessment of a sewer survey looks like exactly…..
    And how exactly would you fake something like that?????
    If you want to debunk it try harder and make some sense at least…

  55. I agree that these are Tubifex or Blackworms, which are used to feed tropical fish. I have raised them for fish food and they consume bacteria and other pollution for their food and likely are beneficial, being the first stage of water treatment in this instance. Pet stores sell them in small portions and ordering them in bulk can range from $13. to $20. per pound.

  56. i dont get it tho if there worms then when the sac moves it pulls the outside of it back in so why is that it contracts the goo holding it on the wall and releases so how do worms control the outside sac?

  57. I’ve watched all three of the videos, AND also viewed another tubifex worm video called, Tubifex on a plate. In that video, there was a large pile of tubifex in one clumpy mass, looking kind of like a piece of liver. When the guy poked it, the whole mass contracted at once, like the masses in the video. He then took a bunch of the worms and put them in a glass of water, where they behaved normally, with worms floating around individually.

    I also READ a little bit about the worms, and they actually DO develop protective cysts. They love polluted areas, and though it is unusual that they should be in a sewer, until there is definitive proof that there is something else, I personally am going to have to agree with diagnosis: Tubifex.

  58. thankyou for your post! I just came across this video and was so disturbed by it! Glad to know theres an explanation..though its still DISGUSTING

  59. amazing video, god only knows what this is and where it evolved from, ill take that back, there is no such thing as god, just wondering what evolution tracks this organism has taken, amazing video

  60. I don’t see anywhere where anyone has retrieved a specimen and verified what exactly it is yet. It seems that they haven’t even been verified yet that they are even biological.

  61. I’ll respond that, reasonably, those ‘nodes’ may be tubifex swarms — only if others will admit the possibility that we may understand such nodes as being ethologically comparable to the aemobea that are also slime mold… you see?….

  62. Nice footage. To the comments above: may be it’s not a single creature or colony of 1 species but a colony of several different species?

    The worm-theory could still match (I believe). In these water conditions you could expect myxomycete (slime molds) to grow very fast.

    Actually I saw something that looked perfectly like this two days ago: in a tea pot that somehow was forgotten with the tea bag still inside. Slime molds have covered it all up within just 3 days and transformed the bag totally. You never could tell what it was unless you really knew it.

    If they can do this within just three days, think of what they can do to a sewer pipe within years. They would totally overgrow it and if there was a colony of worms I’m quite certain they would cover it up as well within a short time, making it look like anything – except a worm.

    But actually I’m not a biologist, so I’m just guessing.

  63. I’ve rechecked the footage. Take a look at index 1:10 to 1:25. Check the light spot to the left in the middle of the screen right at the edge of the “slime-ball”? See how it moves independently up and down. To me it perfectly looks like the tail (or head?) of a worm, covered up with the same slime you can see all over the rest of the sewer pipe.

    I’m convinced that Dr. Wood is right about Tubifex.

  64. I find myself pleased with Dr. Wood’s assessment. Since, there’s way of referencing the size of the pipes/critters from this video, people seem to be assuming that they are much larger than they really are. That water-way is probably less than a foot in diameter. Hence they had to send a little camera-bot.

  65. These are tubifex worms. They look different in the other videos because they are in water. These ones aren’t in water. I’ve seen a video debunking this. Check it out on youtube.

  66. Well I must say all this talk of worms and aliens makes me laugh not crossing it out but I’ve seen this creepy Phenomenon before right in my own home! This living organism looks like no other than some fungus. I once found a moldy container of old old chicken broc alf half eaten, must have fallen off behind frige and I when we moved I opened it up and their was this black sea-urchant looking thing and I sware it was looking at me cuz it moved. I don’t really know what that pipe creature’s are; but I feel that the fact mold or fungi could be a possibility considering a good rule out of the reason why they don’t require sunlight feeding upon the algea/ bacterias manefesting along the pipes walls, which is key to the nutrition of such fungis/molds. Considering that the other fact that there are 1.5million species of fungi which are living organisms like the mushroom and molds, in some cases a parasitic forms. However with ruling out they being parasites, many fungi are usually stationary like these critters here. As for the explanation of the exoskeleton structure we see pulsating, might be caused by a mutation of the chitin molecule for what ever reason; which would make it the cell wall which can be found in fungi. The pulsating structure is proly caused from a chemical and thermal reaction causing the organism to activate a filtering mechanisim. If so then fungi’s and molds also go through stages and this could be part of a way to speed up a deffense mech / reproduction. hense why so many in that pipe. IDFK but it’s a though no?

  67. oh and what apears to be worms inside, may be no other than the filteration process thats filtering the water through it’s cell/membrane to in sure in it’s survival.

  68. LOL another assumption Iv’e come across is regaurding those trying to determin the size of the creatures. After reviewing the video i descovered using simple mathematics from freaking high school whith what we allready kno; the pipe in 6″in diameter thus making the creatures ne-where around 3″ to 1.6″ in diameter themselves still making the average mold/fungi size!

  69. I’m sorry math wrong it’s like 1.26″ in diameter to 2.125″ in diameter max. it’s a rough estamate no idean how old the intel is..

  70. These nasty creatures have evolved with bacterial parasites in the sewers of louisville kentucky to form an aggressive micro-organism that is invaiding homes thru the drains
    to burrow into human feet, legs, hands and causing much pain and suffering. I know they ran me out of my home and the govt would not help they laughed me off and turned me away.
    I still own the house but its still infested. I tried every chemical, poison, and substance known to fight these creatures but they only got stronger. Need researcher, scientist, to investigate. Its unbelievable. BUT THEY ARE FOR REAL. Please HELP!
    [email protected] My name is Bob

  71. I agree with Bob; I live in North Hollywood and I have a friend living in West Hollywood. For than a year, we’ve been dealing with these very slick critters… now I’m not sure if the North Carolina video is the same thing but I can attest to everything that Bob has said.

    This friend and I first noticed odd movement under the flooring in our apts. Then we noticed that whatever it was was drawn to areas of the home where there’s a constant supply of water (kitchen/bathroom). Initially i thought it a slime mold, but slime molds don’t live as long as this thing does. I cannot telll you how much money we have spent on cleaning supplies in the last year. My friend has actually moved. We’ve had countless tests by medical doctors which either come back negative for parasites or comeback postive for different parasites. We’ve pretty much settled on it being morgellons cause there’s no explanation. I can say one thing; these organisms/parasites are host specific, powerful (they can move entire structures–I know crazy), and frankly whether or not anyone believes me i could care less. Everyone will eventually have to deal with them. They are able to penetrate all sorts of surfaces the way some parasitic worms penetrate skin, and I have seen them everywhere. You may ask why doesn’t everyone else? Trust me everyone else will in time.

  72. Please help!

    I have moved to a rural area and had to install a water sewage system which only drains the sewage into the soil. Too far from the city for mains sewage.

    It has been 1 year, I am the only person living here, and just recently, I have found several, snakelike creatures with an armadillo-like covering, making their bodies very strong, coming from my kitchen sink drain! Yuck!

    They slither like a snake, very quickly, are almost black in colour, and when I killed one with a spoon, the head and its first 2 feet kept slithering….. Yikes!
    The ones I have found are about 2″ long.

    I have found one on the kitchen floor now, worrying that they are spreading around.
    I put some bleach down the drain last night and found a very soft, dead victim in the sink. It is not good to use the bleach with plastic drain pipes..

    what do you recommend to eradicate or control the problem?
    i need help!

  73. IT´s me again. I found another of these teeny creatures on my kitchen floor this morining. I can be more specific. These are about 1″ long and a millimeter wide.
    They slither quickly, like snakes and have two antennae-like protuberances coming from the face. It seems like it is a really basic organism, but really concerns me because it is entering the kitchen from the wastewater. Dangerous for good hygiene.
    I would really appreciate information about how to resolve this infestation.
    thanking you kindly in advance.

  74. Third time is the charm?
    I understand that you focus on the sea, but you have answered questions about sewage and drains. I also see that you have ventured into the Antarctic. I live in Bariloche, Argentina. My problem is due to creatures coming into my house from water under the ground. My astrological sign is Cancer… THE WATER SIGN!

    SO. it seems that at least one of you would use or share your contacts with me to resolve my problem. I worked in AI and also information systems, healthcare specialist, and also publisher and event organiser dealing with government and companies like Oracle, IBM, Siemens, etc, with governments around the world.

    I NEED HELP: How can I prepare food in a kitchen with these creatures coming out of the waste water? I am also a chef and cannot bear to prepare any food in this sink or kitchen, because if these creatures have come out of the drain and I find them on my kitchen floor…. where have they been?
    Please. You have my private email address. Please help.
    thanking you kindly in advance.
    r graham from a hostile creature and political environment.

  75. This is not a fake. I have a sample right now. I have been dealing with these things all day today. Who do I need to send a sample too? Any Ideas other than the local college?

Comments are closed.