There are some dangerous and deadly creatures in the world which have very unassuming appearances – but looks can surely be deceiving. The New Guinea Flatworm is the perfect example. It originated in New Guinea, but has now been discovered in 15 different countries around the world. As exotic plants and soil have traveled around the globe, so have these harmful worms. They are dark in color, just millimeters wide, and approximately 2 1/2 inches in length. Nothing about the look of this worm is alarming in any way.
The New Guinea Flatworm feeds on small creatures such as snails and lizards. It wraps its body around the animal, and then consumes its prey with a mouth-like organ located underneath it. This worm has been labeled as being one of the 100 most invasive species on the planet – having the potential to harm shrubs and trees, and even cause infection and brain/spinal cord damage in humans. It may be small in size, but it certainly has the power to cause great harm to the environment, to animals, and to people as well.
Prior to last year this species had never been spotted in the United States, but unfortunately that changed this past year when it was discovered in Florida. Officials are working hard to prevent the spread of the New Guinea Flatworm. They warn against touching it, and are ordering any sightings to be reported immediately.