First Shipworms Discovered Alive

Scientists have discovered the first live shipworm in the Philippines. The huge mollusk has been around for hundreds of years but scientists have never seen a live one. Finding this slimy black creature encased in a tusk-like shell has been compared to finding a dinosaur or  the “unicorn of mollusks.”


A documentary crew filmed divers from the area gathering the giant worms and cooking them. Researchers went to the area and sent five shipworms back to the lab to be opened up and studied.

Scientists still don’t know how to measure their age or trace their life cycle. However, they have discovered what they eat to survive. They live in swamps with decaying vegetation and rotting animals which release hydrogen sulfide. Bacteria living in the shipworm’s gills digest the hydrogen sulfide and produce carbon compounds that are eaten by the shipworms.

More studies on the creature are being conducted and new discoveries will be released on these amazing creatures in the future.

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