Terrifying Giant Red Leech Swallows Much Larger Prey Whole

If the human race has learned anything from the internet, it’s that porn of just about anything exists, and nature is super gross. A new series on the BBC, Wonders of the Monsoon, captured for the first time a Giant Red Leech swallowing a much larger earthworm whole.

The Giant Red Leech is so new to science that it’s actually still unclassified — the Giant Red Leech moniker bestowed upon it by the tribes in the surrounding areas of Borneo. Normally, leeches suck the blood of its prey; however, this type of leech has grown so big that instead of sucking the blood of its prey, it sucks down the whole prey itself. It’s awful to watch, in that fun way gross internet videos are awful.

The Giant Red Leech in the above video is around 50 centimeters long, and the worm it slurps down is 20 centimeters longer. The leech finds the worm by essentially sniffing out its trail like a dog. It’s not as sensual as it seems. Once it finds the prey, it slides its mouth along the worm’s body as you can see toward the beginning of the video. Scientists suggest that the leech is either sizing up the worm to make sure its small enough to be eaten, or is simply looking for an end to grab.

The film crew spent a few weeks trying to locate the leech, cleverly following the worms that the leech eats, waiting for the predator to strike. A rainstorm flushed the worms from their hiding spots, and the Giant Red Leech quickly followed.

No one has really studied the leeches, so little is known about the predator, including how big it can grow. All we know for now is that they’re amusingly gross, and we’ll have to each lunch a little later than usual today. Wonders of the Monsoon airs October 5 on BBC 2.

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