What Did I Eat?
June 27, 2006 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Who: Me Where: Near Ocean City, on the great Assawoman. Why: Alcohol. When: Sunday, 4 PM. How: Tossed to the back of my throat, and swallowed with the Why. What: Aye, there's the rub.

On the boat Sunday in the Assawoman Bay near Ocean City, Maryland, USA, we saw many 4-5 inch long pinkish worms swimming at the surface. Not only did we manage so catch one of the sea creatures, but I managed to ingest one, along with a healthy swig of beer.
One of my friends has proposed that I ate this. I thought it might be the Osedax mucofloris (bone-eating snot-flower). Any other marine biologists have guesses?
posted by joecacti to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can't be snot-worms. They live in the deep and don't swim the surface.

Are you having any intestinal issues presently?
posted by zonkout at 10:51 AM on June 27, 2006

Next time, you might want to think about what happened to the Beave.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:52 AM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm going to have to sit here in anticipation until someone identifies that worm and/if our poster is going to end up on some kind of afternoon tv special about not swallowing foreign worms. Thanks a lot.
posted by Atreides at 11:40 AM on June 27, 2006

No intestinal issues; my stools have been quite regular. We speculated that the alcohol in my stomach was probably enough to dissolve the worm. I had taken a long-lasting ant-acid earlier in the weekend, though, so maybe it had a chance?
posted by joecacti at 11:49 AM on June 27, 2006

Well, if it was a red-gilled mud worm (Marenzelleria viridis), as your friends' picture indicates I've been trying to find info.

I've been googling the stuff, and I believe they are found in the bay you were in. They're also invading Baltic harbors thanks to ballast water and fun things. And for the life of me, I can't find anything about negative health problems related to their ingestion.
posted by Atreides at 12:01 PM on June 27, 2006

By the way, alcohol wouldn't dissolve the worm, it'd poison it.
posted by Atreides at 12:02 PM on June 27, 2006

A little googling brings up this page of worms at Sandy Hook, NJ (which is maybe 140 miles north-east of Assawoman Bay). Some possibilities include the sand worm (Nereis), which "swim gracefully at night" and the Nemertean worm, which sort of matches your description. Do any of them look familiar or delicious?
posted by blue mustard at 12:29 PM on June 27, 2006

I am a marine biologist (specifically a benthic ecologist, just what you need.)

Since it was swimming, I will second blue mustard and say it was probably Nereis, the common clam worm. Since it is a polychaete it has the ability to swim pretty well.

What surprises me is that you were able to get it down. Clam worms have pretty serious jaws.

posted by nekton at 1:49 PM on June 27, 2006

ewwww... so is he gonna live, Doc?

I mean joecacti, not the worm.
posted by Corky at 5:27 PM on June 27, 2006

Day 5 and going strong. I'll be down there this weekend with a camera, if I see one we'll capture it and photograph. But I'll probably refrain from absorbing this delicacy into my body, I've had enough thanks.
posted by joecacti at 4:03 PM on June 29, 2006

Well the worms were in the same spot this weekend. Easy to grab in the water, but hard to grab off the deck of a boat. It was really just like an earthworm in the water. Blue mustard wins, with an honorable mention to nekton for pic goodness and a special thanks to all who participated. Next year: Jellyfish!
posted by joecacti at 12:39 PM on July 5, 2006

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